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Spring Greens

Friday, 16th March 2001, West Yorkshire

greenfinch ALTHOUGH it's cold and dull, there's plenty of bird activity today. Gardens and canal side bushes are busy with a variety of birds. A Greenfinch sings from near the top of a tree by the road and there's another in a hawthorn by the canal. I'd describe its song as a cheerful trilling, but its most distinctive vocalisation is the nasal 'jeez' that it sometimes drops into its song.

great tits As ever, the loudest song - a ringing two-note phrase - comes from the Great Tit. There's one plainly audible above the drone of traffic as it sings from the top of a sycamore alongside the old railway viaduct.

frogman There are also Northern Divers by the canal, unfortunately not the feathered variety but a firm of sub-aquatic engineers, based in Hull.

frog-spawn There's plenty of aquatic activity in our garden pond as well of course, there's now a bucket-load of frog-spawn, all of it concentrated in the one corner, with two new clumps today. There's the usual scrummage of frogs elbowing each other for the prime position in the centre of the mass of jelly.

Foot and Mouth precautions are still in force, so we're still not getting the full picture of the progress of the spring, but even on the little stretch of towpath that is still open, under the bridge, each time I'm out I notice that the nettles, cow parsley and dandelion are springing up and gradually covering the bare ground. next page

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Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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