AS WE DRIVE under a concrete motorway bridge in Leeds we glimpse twenty pigeons lined up on the ledge above us, getting the full benefit of the morning sun.
Later while I'm on the phone, looking out over the meadow, my attention is drawn to a grey flash, followed by a black streak.
The black cat waits at the foot of an isolated hawthorn, but, even with the phone in one hand and binoculars, which I've grabbed from the shelf, in the other, I can't make out if it has cornered a bird or a squirrel. A few minutes later there's the grey flash again; yes, it's a squirrel but fairly flying through the air from the top of the hawthorn diagonally down towards the edge of the wood, and safety, just yards away.
The predators are out in force, a few minutes later a Kestrel flies along the boundary of the wood.
In Wakefield a Great Tit sings its clear piping song from a tall Sycamore in the gardens behind Georgian houses, now offices, close to the city centre. A Magpie perches in the same tree, near what appears to be its nest, a bundle of twigs the size of a cushion.
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