Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary


canalhawthorn berriesFriday, 19th January, 2007
THE WINDS YESTERDAY afternoon lifted a flat roof in Dewsbury and hurled it into the windows of the next house, so that a whole row of maisonettes had to be evacuated. One gust uprooted a concrete lamp-post and snapped it in two. Here, a mile or two down the valley, the towpath is strewn with branches under the ash and with crimson berries under the hawthorns. A black-headed gull lies dead at the water's edge by a wide shallow pool that has formed in a field of seedling rape between the river and canal. It's lying right under the pylon cables; it probably collided with them in yesterday's gale.

redwingsRedwings, at least 50 of them, and a smaller number of fieldfares, fly out of the hawthorns alongside the towpath as we walk towards the Figure of 3 locks. They've been eating the numerous hawthorn berries that the wind has left the branches.