July 4, 1784

Posted by sydney on Jul 4th, 1784

On this day my Godson, Littleton Etty discovered a young Cuckow in one of the yew hedges of the vicarage garden, sitting in a small nest that would scarce contain the bird, tho’ not half grown. By watching in a morning we found that the owners of the nest were hedge-sparrows, who were much busied in feeding their great booby. The nest is in so secret a place that it is to be wondered how the parent Cuckow could discover it. Tho’ the bird is very young it is very fierce, gaping, & striking at peoples fingers, & heaving up by way of menace, & striving to intimidate those that approach it. This is now only the fourth young cuckow that I have ever seen in a nest: three of those h. sparrows, & one in that of a tit-lark. As I rose up the N. field-hill lane I saw young partridges, that were about two or three days old, skulking in the cart-ruts; while the dams ran hovering & crying up the horse-track, as if wounded, to draw off my attention.

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