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3:32pm Monday 20th May 2013
4:19pm Monday 13th May 2013
THE collective nouns for birds usually produce a few curiosities and questions. Some examples concern members of the crow family. For example: a murder of crows, a mischief of magpies, an unkindness of ravens, a conceit of jackdaws, a clamour of rooks, a chattering of choughs and a band of jays.
4:23pm Tuesday 7th May 2013
2:40pm Friday 26th April 2013
3:59pm Friday 19th April 2013
12:20pm Friday 5th April 2013
I T is not often that we notice jays around my part of Yorkshire despite their colourful plumage. Members of the crow family, they have beautiful warm buffcoloured bodies, distinctive blue patches on their blacktipped wings which also have some white feathers in the wings’ central areas, and neat little crests of black and white.
2:23pm Tuesday 2nd April 2013
AS I look out of my study window upon a covering of snow and the remnants of the previous night’s frost, it is difficult to believe that Easter is upon us. However, I am writing these notes a couple of weeks in advance so there is time for the weather to change and hopefully provide us with sunshine for the holiday weekend.
2:48pm Friday 22nd March 2013
ONE of the best known wild animals in this country is probably the grey squirrel. If we do not see several in our woods or fields, or raiding our bird feeders for food, we are highly likely to be aware of them in town parks and formal gardens. In the latter case, they are well fed by human visitors who encourage them to stay and make their homes nearby. In some cases, these cheeky squirrels show no fear of humans and will even take food from the hand.
2:44pm Friday 15th March 2013
THIS morning, as I write these notes two weeks ahead of publication, the sun was shining as I awoke and a thrush was in full voice in our cherry tree. He remained for more than an hour before moving a few yards into some neighbouring silver birches and finally performing from sycamores behind the house. All those trees are leafless as I make these notes but clearly he senses that spring is in the air and equally clearly, he is declaring his presence to other thrushes and marking the boundaries of his territory. In the near future, there may be a thrush’s nest somewhere nearby.
11:21am Friday 8th March 2013
ONE of the interesting facets of writing about the countryside and local communities is that the same surnames often appear profusely in certain places. Clearly, it means that those particular families have lived there for many generations, whether or not they originated there or moved in at a later stage.