Disputed Territory

Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire Nature Diary, Tuesday, 16th February 2010

snowdrops3°C, 4.45 p.m.

sketchbookDESPITE my unfinished business in the studio, I couldn't wait any longer so I've come out on a little expedition to a place where I can draw a holly hedge, a mossy log and snowdrops; where I can be surrounded by birdsong. I've brought my new A4 sized Pink Pig sketchbook with the burgundy cover and my folding canvas chair to this scruffy little 'meadow area' by the compost bins at the bottom end of our back garden.

The advantage of an A4 sketchbook is that it fits my scanner but still gives me plenty of space for the starlingrambling nature-scapes that I'd like to get back into the habit of exploring.

robinIt's a busy time for bird calls: I think that the monotonous 'wee-eh' whistling is coming from two starlings on our radio aerial.

The rival robins stage a duel across the hedge - weapon of choice; a trickle of wistful song.

song thrushjackdawsJackdaws go over, making expletive 'Tchjak!' calls.

A song thrush gives a tropical touch to the soundscape with its exotically varied calls - some so clear and fluty you could imagine that they were designed to carry through the canopy of the rainforest, rather than a damp and dismal February back garden.
long-tailed tit blue titThree long-tailed tits with badger-like head-stripes flit about in a shrub in next doors garden while a blue tit hops along the boundary hedge close by me.