Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Local patch 8

In the pearl dawn, we are rooked. They clamber and cling in the walnut tree, their chieftains standing sentinel on the telegraph poles outside our bedroom window. They thrust their shoulders forward and stretch out their necks and great bony faces. And they caw and rasp and craa. It is a crackle and racket that gradually fills the room and drags me from sweet, soft dreaming. Their insistent notes drown the dawn chorus; I love it. They meet in the walnut tree where they flap and scramble until they can get a turn on the bird feeders. And then they dangle, hooked and stabbing at the fat balls. Some can remove the lid of the feeder and fly away with a whole fat ball, a high calorie breakfast. Until, as if on command, they rise and circle and are gone. They head out of the village to their feeding grounds on Aller Bank where the soft, peaty fields allow them to stab their sharp bills into the ground in search of worms and other invertebrates. They are sociable animals, communicating constantly in big, ragged groups. There are always jackdaws too. Smaller and silver shawled, they add their soft clucks and yips to the rooky racket. 

I have been trying to take a photo to accompany this post. But I have noticed that, even though they are big, bold, brazen birds, rooks are surprisingly flighty. As soon as I approach the window or door, they are spooked. Even movement or noise inside the house sets them off in alarm. So no photo - not yet ... 

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