Today, 3 August, I heard the first Fan-tailed Cuckoo of Spring; about three weeks earlier than last year (22.8.10). I heard his mournful, descending trill in the late afternoon of what has been a very mild day, during a patch of un-seasonally mild weather; yesterday was Melbourne’s warmest August day since records began (apparently).

You can listen to this call on Graeme Chapman’s website.

These cuckoos are known to parasitise the nests of up to 50 species of birds, but usually target the dome-shaped nests of thornbills and occasionally the open, cup-nests of honeyeaters (from Reader’s Digest Complete Book of Australian Birds 1977) and in the Strathbogies we have several species of both groups.

PS. Last Sunday I heard the first Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike of the season (for me), down at the Euroa Arboretum. Haven’t heard them in the hills yet.