Crab Apple Eaters
Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Friday 16th November, 2007
YESTERDAY MORNING I'd just said to Barbara that Alan Titchmarsh should come to our garden and do a series that was combination of his Nature of Britain and A Year at Kew - A Year at the Rough Patch perhaps - when a jay flew down into the golden hornet, which now has so many small yellow apples on it that it looks like a Christmas decoration. It flew off to the large oak a couple of gardens up the road but within a minute or two a great spotted woodpecker touched down briefly in the little tree, on it's way to raid a neighbour's peanut feeder.
Neither bird is a regular visitor to our garden; you're more likely to see them out over the meadow, making their way to and from the wood.
This morning the blackbirds, which are the regular crab apple eaters, had to contend with two visiting grey squirrels which were checking out the tree.
On my way to the post office after lunch, I stopped and took a look up river;
no birds that I could see, not even with binoculars. That's unusual.
On my way back there were still no ducks, coot, moorhen or cormorants (although two flew over); only a grey wagtail hopping and tail-flicking from rock to driftwood perch at the edge of the river, while a robin behaved in a similar way where sycamores, ashes, willow and bramble overhang the river nearby.
One frosty morning this week, a grey wagtail was flitting about on the rosemary tiles of our neigbour's roof opposite when it hit a patch of black ice and went skidding a few feet down the roof, like a silent comedian performing a stunt.