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Here come the Birds

Richard Bell’s Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Sunday, 23rd November 2008


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female pheasant

SEVEN FEMALE pheasants in the garden at lunchtime: one of them keeps bursting into a flurry of raising its tail and spinning around. A display not, as far as I could tell, directed at the other birds in the group.



A couple of weeks ago an impact shook our patio windows. A sparrowhawk had swooped straight at the window. It flew to perch on the bird feeder, recovered then flew off out of the garden. It left a precise powdery outline of breast feathers and outspread wings on the window.

House Sparrows

house sparrows at the bird bath

There was a report only last week on how house sparrow numbers are continuing to decline so I was delighted to see 7 or 8 of them at lunchtime, gathered along the rim of the bird bath.


blackbird bathing

I’m glad that I cleared the pond at the end of the summer. It was frozen over this morning but this afternoon a blackbird was vigorously bathing in it.

Sea Ducks

wigeons at sea

On Wednesday at Scalby Mills, Scarborough, against the low morning sun, we saw a flock of ducks about 100 yards out to sea.




We were surprised when we discovered that they were all wigeon; about 100 of them.


jay and crab apples

Blackbirds - 2 or 3 at a time - are taking the golden hornet crab apples, occasionally joined by a jay which will pick an apple then fly back to the wood with it.