Thursday, 22 January 2009

Rookeries and oakeries

The rooks just outside Greenoak Park cawing away this morning with the occasional chack from the smaller jackdaws. How do they know it won't be long until they have to renovate their nests? The little rookery in the beeches here is just by the council houses. Some residents - including my friend Barbara, love the rooks and feed them all sorts of scraps. I bet they're not universally valued though - the decibel level must be pretty high at times.

Rookeries tend to be extremely ancient - many hundreds of years old according to England in Particular," the marvellous encylopaedia of all things "commonplace, local, vernacular and distinctive." This book especially singles out Ranmoor Cliffe rookery which has been recorded by Sheffield Bird Study Group for the last forty years. I keep meaning to check it out. Evidently the residents there are appreciative - "They really make you feel that you are somewhere other than the suburb of a large city."

Back at our end of the park I try taking pictures of the oak tree at the entrance - also pretty ancient although how old I don't know. This area used to be known as Greenoak but this venerable tree is pretty much the only one left. Lots of oaks in the woods although most of these are American red oaks planted in the 1950's I think. This last remaining oak here was recently threatened by possible widening of the park entrance. Luckily local people stopped this happening. I think I might have a go at keeping an ongoing record of this tree over the seasons.....

1 comment:

  1. I often get woken by the rooks. They swirl around over their nests and are mezmerising to watch. I sit in bed with my morning cuppa and watch the display. The noise is deafening. Magical birds. The rooks one of the great things about living in Totley. I think the jackdaws are a recent addition. And I didn't know peole where feeding them.