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Birds in the Valley

Tuesday 19th March 2002, West Yorkshire

wood pigeonwood pigeonsWood pigeons sit along the power lines, 41 of them; I counted them as I scanned them with binoculars.

pussy willow or sallow Greenish yellow catkins have opened on sallow bushes on the embankment by the railway marshalling yards.

drake goosander Walking on by the river, opposite what used to be a mungo and shoddy mill, I disturb a goosander, a male in striking black and white plumage, which flies off down the river, under a railway bridge. The river still contains a lot of drifting rubbish but the presence of goosanders is a reminder that the water is now clean enough to support fish.

kestrel A kestrel perches on a power line in a characteristic hunched up posture. It looks as if it's either fed up or wearing a thick anorak. Or both. A magpie sits on the same wire not far way.

mallard A single drake mallard stands on a patch of flattened reeds by the canal. There are two similar patches further downstream, each with its resident mallard drake. Perhaps they have females on eggs page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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