Cuckoo attack!

A furious Meadow Pipit goes in for the attack once again on this European Cuckoo, who had managed to annoy not only the Meadow Pipits but also all the Skylarks and Sand Martins who were nesting on the moorland and nearby stream sandbanks at Over Wyreside in Lancaster, UK.

The Cuckoo was flying in low circles over the moors, with a deliberate motion whilst it looked for unattended nests and as soon as the attacking birds would either tire or withdraw, the Cuckoo would seize its chance to drop into the grasses and reeds for just a split second. Then, the grey-blue barred bird would be airborne once again, to repeat its circling whilst the cacophonous song birds would be harassing it once more, because they know instinctively that the Cuckoo means danger. 

This female was looking to lay its egg in their nests and first thing the Cuckoo chick does when it hatches is push out all the other eggs from its new home; the small birds then raise this imposter as their own fledging, completely unaware, regardless of the huge size difference parents and chick present… 

*Shot on a Panasonic Lumix G9 M4/3 mirrorless camera using a Panasonic Leica 100-400mm f/4-6.3 DG Vario-Elmar Lens with settings at ISO-100, aperture at f/5.6, spot metering mode and an exposure time of 1/320 seconds*


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