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Dabbling and Dust-bathing

Friday, 28th February 2003, West Yorkshire

mallardThe river is low. A drake mallard stands on one of the rocks amongst the rapids midstream on the ruined weir, its green head irridescent in the low morning sun. A female dabbles at the foot of rapids, closely watched by another drake.mallards

The stream is low too. Where it comes through the remains of an old mill race the water has gone down enough to reveal what might be part of stone channel on the stream bed.

sparrow dustbathingdustbathingIt's only last week that we cleared the garden border by the hedge and dug it over. Already the house sparrows are making the most of it, gathering to dust-bathe, creating little craters in the dry soil.

sparrows dustbathingIt doesn't stay dry too long; it gets greyer, then wetter during the afternoon. next page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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