Birds before Breakfast

Saturday, 1st January 2005
Wild West Yorkshire nature diary

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mistle thrushtreecreeperA good start to the year: before breakfast we have two infrequent visitors in the crab apple tree; first a pair of mistle thrushes, which don't come into the garden as often as the song thrush. Since they were frosted and turned soft the crab apples have attracted more attention from blackbirds and thrushes.

The thrushes are soon followed by a treecreeper which, in regular treecreeper pattern, flies from the upper boughs of the willow next door down to the bottom of our tree, creeps in increments up the trunk like a streaky mouse, follows the left fork up to the top branches, then flies off to find some other tree.

blue titAs far as I remember this is the first time we 've seen one in our garden, though we've seen them on the willow next door before. This weeping willow was thoroughly pruned back in the autumn (it will soon sprout again in the spring) and we can see that a pair of blue tits are taking a lot of interest in the old nestbox there, which is as green with algae as the surrounding bark.

starlingrobinLater, as we set off to walk into Horbury, a starling sings enthusiastically from the gutter at the corner of the house, a robin more wistfully from a small tree. By the railway, long-tailed tits are flitting like brown and white budgies through the delicate branches of the birches while at the other side of the tracks ten or twenty blackbirds are feasting on hawthorn berries.

long-tailed titsfemale blackbird

cormorantcormorantOn calm water above the weir two cormorants are diving. Next Page

cormorant Richard Bell,

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