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blue tit


Tuesday, 16th January 2001, West Yorkshire

house sparrows AT LAST, after a week or two, the seed feeders I put up on the honeysuckle trellis right outside the patio windows have attracted the birds. A House Sparrow was having a good rummage in the seed tray and a Blue Tit investigated the perspex tube feeder hanging above it.

blue tit A blue tit perches on a retaining wall in next door's garden pecking at the stonework. Even looking through binoculars, I can't tell whether it is nibbling bits of grit from the composition blocks, as the sparrows sometimes do, or whether it is picking off some of the tiny invertebrates that live amongst the thin growth of moss.

blackbird The border disputes continue amongst the Blackbirds in the back garden.

Close Scrape

I've been spending the morning scraping paper off the wall in the little bedroom. It's a satisfying job when it comes off a sheet at a time, but one corner takes a lot of scraping as I go back through the years through the decorative history of this room; our blue with small white flowers which covers a patch of yellow emulsion paint, which in turn covers a pale apricot flowery paper, of the type I remember from the 1950s or 60s. Somewhere in the sequence there's a bottle green with a dado in a lighter shade. I'm aware that I'm destroying something of the history of this house. Our paper has been up in the spare room for 17 years, so the 3 or 4 layers I've discovered might take the story right back to the 1930s when the semi-detached houses on this part of the lane were built to for workers at Charles Roberts wagon works.

birch leafAs if I haven't seen enough peeling paper for one day, there's variety of Birch by the Ridings shopping centre in Wakefield which has bark which resembles tattered rolls of newspapers.

As we drive out of the shopping centre car park past a MacDonalds, a Pied Wagtail runs along coping stones of the pavement. Car parks and house roofs seem to suit these birds as much as close-cropped turf and the silty island in the river. next page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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