Sunday, 25 January 2009


Midday and my regular walk on White Lane but further on up to a puddly Fanshawegate Lane as far as Fanshawegate Hall. Then down into Gillfield Wood. I find this entrance into the wood otherworldly. Apart from the brook, it's eerily quiet.
Today is Garden Birdwatch day. I failed to watch birds in my garden, but walking, there is a lot of pre Spring activity and song:

First up, I heard a curlew over the park - or a starling was a good mimic. Blackheaded gulls too having a bit of arga warga. The usual rooks, jackdaws, pigeons, starlings, blackbirds. At the bottom of the park in the trees, the chaffinches flit and flash. Robins in their usual territories on Aldam Road and into the woods. Great tits really see-sawing away. Very high sounds up at the top of the White Lane - often goldcrests here, so I think that's what I might be hearing. Lots of chaffinches again up near Woodthorpe. The lovely white doves in the old stackyard at Fanshawegate. No fieldfares in the fields below Fanshawegate although I've seen them here stripping hawthorn berries. The middle of Gillfield very quiet apart from the great tits and a short drum from a woodpecker. Later there will be chacking calls from flocks of jackdaws as they fly back to roost in Eccleshall Woods. Back near the first kissing gate on the edge of the wood, long tailed tits, blue tits, and a big party of finches - a bullfinch, chaffinches, greenfinches. Then, a robin, close on a low branch, his beak wide open, singing out Spring....

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