Crow Island

Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Friday 21st May 1999

crow River Calder LIKE LONG JOHN SILVER, a Crow with an injured foot limps along the arc of silt in the river shallows, scanning the strand line with a quizzical glint in its eye. Lame it may be, but it flies off easily over the rapids, where flecks of pollution foam sparkle in the afternoon sun.

Mallard drakes give chase to a duck over the rushy field. There is such a strong westerly that they have to work hard to hold position. A Lapwing careers off skittishly downwind.

flowering cone of pine copse The colour of the copse is changed by the wind which exposes the undersides of spring-fresh leaves. Willows appear greyish, Sycamores light green and Whitebeam chalky. The male flowering cones of pine are orange, they look quite exotic against the dark green needles.

currant galls Currant galls have been blown to the ground along with the tassels of male oak catkins.

Willow Warblers are singing, they must outnumber Chiff Chaffs by at least ten to one. Despite the rushing wind we still pick up the nasal wheeze of the Greenfinch. Goldfinches seem to be hanging around in argumentative groups rather than in pairs.

Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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