A good year for Cuckoos; the Royal Tournament – a bit noisy; Hordle beach – a bit sandy; Christine Truman’s first Wimbledon; the Masonic girls school; poignancy at the Air Forces Memorial; Prize-giving at Shirley Avenue School; Heath Lobelia, leafy Nottingham and some cricketing greats.
Cuckoos are abundant in the Chandler’s Ford area this Summer of 1957, and Spotted Flycatchers, though late in coming, appear to be plentiful, with a pair nesting on the house next door and hawking insects, usually from the gateposts in the front garden of The Ridge. Gran hears a Nightingale from the house, the first, she says, for several years, but many of the heathland, scrub and birch wood birds, familiar to her in past years, no longer nest nearby as the area is gradually built up. She records Wood Warblers in the Pinewood still though, and writes on June 3rd:
As I emerged from the Pinewood into Hiltingbury Road I saw a Wood Warbler carrying food for young in her bill and as Hazel joined me, the bird flew onto a tiny Sweet Chestnut sapling not five yards away from us and dropped to the ground. Immediately little clamouring voices proclaimed a nest with young. The nest was easy to find but domed so that we could not see inside, but we were satisfied.
A little tragedy occurs on the 4th, Jean Hockridge from next door, giving “the sad news that a cat or dog had earlier killed both the children’s Guineapigs – what a pest these wretched animals can be!”