Yellow-billed Cuckoo found dead in East Sussex


A Yellow-billed Cuckoo was discovered in residential Seaford, East Sussex, on the morning of 2 October.

The bird, which was very freshly dead and had presumably only just perished, was discovered lying between two large brick pillars on the path which runs out to Splash Point at the end of Gerald Road at around 09:30 by Mary-Anne Carter, who lives on Gerald Road and was out walking her dog.

She passed the unusual corpse to her neighbour, Robert Lawson, who commented: "I thought the bird looked like a cuckoo, or possibly a shrike.

"I took it home and looked in the Collins Bird Guide, and was able to identify it as a Yellow-billed Cuckoo."

Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Seaford, East Sussex, 2 October 2019 (Robert Lawson).

This represents the second record for East Sussex and unfortunately bears a striking resemblance to the previous occurrence, which flew into a wall in Eastbourne and was picked up dead on 4 November 1952. There is also a single record from West Sussex, which again involved a freshly dead bird at Middleton-on-sea on 14 December 1960.

Incidentally, another Yellow-billed Cuckoo was found on St Mary's, Scilly, on the morning of 2 October, but happily was still alive. However, it quickly disappeared into gardens after its discovery and hasn't yet been seen again.

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