I'm so pleased to find that the cuckoos are back at the local nature reserve and seemed to have arrived a little later this year. I drew this one as it perched on a fence post whilst it was displaying it's long tail and trying to attract a female.
The sound of the cuckoo seems to symbolise the spring for many people, although it is a bird now rarely heard. In 2017 I exhibited a cuckoo with 'Explorers Against Extinction' at the Royal Geographical Society in London to draw attention to the decline of the cuckoo. This year I have been asked as one of only 150 artists to donate a piece of work on endangered wildlife to raise money for anti-poaching dogs in Garamba Park in Africa so I may choose the cuckoo once again as it is a bird of both countries. There are countless songs and stories about cuckoos in Britain, Shakespeare mentions them:
SPRING: When daisies pied and violets blue And lady-smocks all silver-white And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue Do paint the meadows with delight, The cuckoo then, on every tree, Mocks married men; for thus sings he, Cuckoo; Cuckoo, cuckoo...' (Loves Labours Lost Act V Scene ll)
There are rhymes too:
In April, come he will.
In May, he sings all day.
In June, he changes his tune.
In July, he prepares to fly.
In August, go he must.
I learnt the last one when I was very young and two days ago was rewarded with the sound of the cuckoo in April.
Coloured Pencil 30x41cm