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collared dove

Dove Day Afternoon

Saturday, 15th February 2003, West Yorkshire

preeningcollared doveA collared dove preens itself on a cold, crisp sunny afternoon. A pair of them fly in and out of the garden ash tree as I draw. male bowingEvery time the female returns the male flies to the branch alongside her and bows his head repeatedly in display. She doesn't seem too impressed and walks off up the branch.

house sparrowsHouse sparrows, feeding on crumbs from the surrounding gardens, are gathered in one of the tall leggy hawthorns of the hedge around what might be an old collared dove's nest or an unfinished squirrel's drey.

magpieOn a higher branch a magpie is pecking away at something. With my binoculars I can make out that it is a chicken page

Richard Bell