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In years past I could nip into my car and head into the Peak and within half an hour find probably 10 or so male cuckoos calling lustily. If I put a decent shift in I reckon I could locate upwards of 30 calling males in one day. Photographing them was not always a simple affair though I do remember well one morning years past when I had a proper job!

I got up at 5am, nipped into the Peak on the edge of Sheffield and set up my hide in a field on the side of a small piece of moorland. I put a post in front of my hide, popped in and waited. In 10 mins a male cuckoo landed on the post, I fired all 36 exposures of then packed up. I was in work by 7 having dropped the film in for processing. During lunch I quickly went round to the processers and bobs my Uncle, a set of decent cuckoo images.

If only it was that simple today. I can still find the odd cuckoo locally but because they are now so scarce they tend to range over vast areas. I have still put up a hide quite a few times but have waited in vain - frustrating.

The answer, well not sure it really is a good one but its one that many have resorted to this year, drive to Scotland and work on a set up run by a good friend. Expensive and the carbon footprint does not sit well but then again neither does spending days driving around trying to find a local cuckoo.