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Birds of the Hedges

Thursday, 1st February 2001, West Yorkshire

the canal from Lady Ann's bridge

WE WALK down the track from Thornhill through a landscape of remnant hedgerows, ploughed fields, and cow pastures, which are now increasingly turned over to horses. The slope is cut along its contours by two derelict railway cuttings, one of them filled in so you'd hardly realise that it had ever been there, the other a cleft filled with thickets of Birch, Oak and Bramble.

robin A Jay and a Magpie, which seem to be keeping each other company, fly along ahead of us, flashing black and white and blue and stopping here and there to investigate the bushes. As ever, there are Great Tits, Blue Tits and Long-tailed Tits making their way along the hedgerows. Robins though seem more intent on staying put. I guess they've already settled on their nesting territories.

kestrel We reach the canal at Lady Ann's Bridge, where it's almost impossible not to pause for a moment, lean on the railings, and look at the view of the Figure of Three locks.

A lone Kestrel flies off to perch on a power line, fanning its tail, which is grey with black edging, as it comes in to land. next page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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