Having recently returned from Spain it has taken me a couple of days to get back in to the swing of things and get out birding again. Yesterday I went out to the area on Dartmoor where I had seen and photographed Cuckoos last year. I am a few days earlier than last year though and I would suggest that the time of year, perhaps even down to the day is very important. The Cuckoos seen last year - and in previous years - have all been feeding on small caterpillars on short grass and I would guess that the development of the caterpillars is vitally important. As soon as there is a good source of prey in the form of moth caterpillars then I am hopeful that the Cuckoos will come in to feed. I did get very close to a Cuckoo yesterday but unfortunately it was perched on the tree behind me - very close - but not on the tree in front of me! Never the less, it was a massive thrill when after sitting for a couple of hours, suddenly there was a Cuckoo and doing it's thing only a few feet away. In previous years I had watched small birds, including Pied Flycatcher and Common Redstarts coming to feed on the same caterpillars and seeing these from just a few feet away was almost as thrilling as the Cuckoos. So far this year, I have had the immense pleasure of having Meadow Pipits feeding almost around my feet as I sat camouflaged. This is always a great thing to happen because it proves beyond doubt that I am sufficiently well concealed. The bird (above) was coming in to the short grass on average around every 20 minutes or so and filling it's beak with small invertebrates before probably flying back to a nest somewhere nearby to feed its young. Check back next week because I am going to continue looking and hopefully I will photograph a nice Cuckoo (for the 4th year running incidentally).