'Sea gulls' over Sainsbury's

Wild West Yorkshire nature diary
Thursday 19th August 1999

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blackberry'teenage' robin IT'S THE TIME OF YEAR when I realise the garden is in need of a trim. I start on the shed. Visitors have gone down our garden path and not realised that there is a shed there until they walk back towards the house. It is covered with Ivy and the Hawthorn hedge has started to spread out over the roof. The old teapot that I fixed onto it, behind the trellis, provided a nest site for Robins this spring. I eat a Blackberry before trimming back both it and the Honeysuckle, which are tumbling luxuriantly through the hedge. The Elder has a sappy smell as I cut into its pith-filled branches.

robin singingseedhead of marigold A Robin sings from a conifer above the hedge. Earlier a 'teenage' robin hopped around the patio. It still has the speckled head of a youngster but now sports the red breast of the adult. Perhaps the robin's moult finishes with the head.

Marigolds are turning to seed. They look like some kind of sea creature.

black-headed gulls Four hundred Black-headed Gulls swirl above the supermarket car park at dusk.

'Shouldn't they be roosting on Pugneys lake?' I ask Mike, the bird-watcher we've come here to meet.

'They seem to move from reservoir to reservoir throughout the night,' he tells us, 'An astronomer friend of mine who lives near the park keeps asking me why he keeps seeing them through his telescope, flying over in the middle of the night.'

John photographing the robins It's a long story, but we're here at this time of the evening to hand over a consignment of wildlife greetings cards, fresh from the printers, for my friend John the photographer. He's taken a stall at the main birdwatcher's get-together of the year, the Rutland Bird Fair. If you're going this weekend, please look out for John Gardner, wildlife photographer, say hello, and more importantly, buy a handful of his excellent cards.

slug playing 'chicken' When we return there's just that nip in the air that suggests autumn. A couple of slugs crawl across the driveway, risking the arrival of a Hedgehog, a Toad or our approaching car.

Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

E-mail; 'richard@daelnet.co.uk'

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