Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Eels Foot Inn and the Cuckoo

Our accomdations for our visit to Minsmere RSPB was the Eels Foot Inn in the tiny Suffolk village of Eastbridge and just a very short distance from Minsmere.  In fact there was a path just beyond the inn that one could walk to Minsmere.

On Sunday morning, 6-13-2010, we had breakfast, settled our bills and enjoyed a leisurely departure.  We had a moment to speak with one of the young new owners (unfortunately, I cannot recall his name) who had just days earlier finalized the purchase of the inn from his mother-in-law.  We joked that I was the first American to visit under his new ownership.  We were all standing in the parking lot and Malcolm pointed out the Cuckoo (Caculus canorus) calling from a leafless tree across the road.  The young owner's comment, "Where's me gun?  The damn thing is waking me up at 4:00 am."  We laughed and Angela reminded him of who many of his customers were.

Several days prior to my departure for England, the New York Times ran an Opinionator article by Olivia Judson titled Cuckoo! Cuckoo! which I have linked here.  I recommend it as an excellent piece on how the Cuckoo is so successful with its nest parasitism.  Though I did not get a photo, I saw a couple of Reed Warblers which is a favored bird for the Cuckoo's parasitic egg-laying.  Each time I wondered for which nestling was the Reed Warbler gathering food.  The article also has a video showing the Cuckoo's successful technique and compares this with other European nest parasite birds.

And, yes, this is the same Cuckoo that woke me at 4:00 am when I thought it was 6:00 am.

Other photos of the Eels Foot Inn.

The dinner menu
The bar - with my favorite bitter, Adnams

The dining room
Needless to say, I highly recommend The Eels Foot Inn.  The rooms are new, large and very clean but there are only six, so in peak birding season call early for your reservation.

It's a hard place to leave, but sadly we had to leave.  We finished another terrific day birding for our final birds and departed around 4:00 pm for the long drive back to Leamington Spa.  My vacation was already half over.

Thank you, Angela and Malcolm.  As I write this, I can recall every moment.  Cuckoo cuckoo cuckoo cuckoo ... !

Next:  Arrival in Wales:  an introduction.

1 comment:

"Dr. Bob" said...

Geez! I cannot even read the rest of your blogs now! I enlarged the menu and now I am starving! A great experience!