While Fairburn is closed my home area 6 miles south In suburban Pontefract has been providing a surprising variety and number of birds.
One of the joys at this time of year is to listen to and identify the songs and calls of our beautiful birds A half hour walk at 8 AM gives the usual suspects and one or two extras to make themselves known, Wood pigeons everywhere still feeding on the decimated rape field - the softer coo of the collard dove .
A blackbird justifies his title as king of songsters notes so full and beautiful they are a joy to the ear. Wrens mostly unseen but their shrill trill rolling like a spinning coin, the robin singing away from the evergreens of established gardens. Dunnock sings though not as shrill as the smaller wren. In the birches a charm of goldfinches twittering and bubbling flashing its magnificent colours in the morning sunshine. My attention is taking by the sliding teeeez of the lovely greenfinch in the sycamore so good to hear after years of absence.
Magpies like a football rattle still gathering in large groups of up to 8 ,carrion crows, tormenting magpies, black headed gull , starling, chirping house sparrow, blue tit and the metallic ring of great tit all announce their presence. Normally silent -the female sparrow hawk flashes over the bridge calling - but to whom?
Chaffinch, black cap chiff chaff all calling in the wildlife corridor that is the railway cut for the Sheffield to York line and so vital to so many birds round here - as i end my half hour walk i clearly hear the soft low whine of the bullfinches who frequent this area - a flashing white rump and they are gone.
I reflect i never saw or heard the buzzards or any swifts or martins or swallows but my sadness is tempered by my list above which isnt too shabby for suburban Pontefract and then maybe i'll see them tomorrow. (photos all mine though not taken on this walk )
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