Noises Off

A very early start.

The bird-song was amazing. I know that proper birders probably get up to catch the dawn chorus regularly, but this was an unusual experience for me. As I walked across the fields and the foreground sounds diminished, I could hear a surround sound concert of singing from every garden and copse – 360 degrees of song.

Under a ragged edge of black sky a solitary star stood out against the pale eggshell sky, presumably Venus.

I passed through Lambert’s meadow – which was very wet – and Burton Well Wood. Coming out of the wood I saw three black birds sitting high in a tree. They were large and their call was a craw (so not jackdaws?), there were three of them (so not crows?). Rooks then?

I’ve just finished reading Crow Country by Mark Cocker, and have very much enjoyed it. Despite the name, the book really concerns Cocker’s Rook monomania. It’s fascinating, but I realised as I read it that although I’m frequently aware of a substantial flock of jackdaws flying over the garden and can see a pair of crows nesting in an oak in the field behind the house, I’m not so often conscious of seeing rooks. There must be rooks, I thought, this is the ideal environment, but where is the nearest rookery? At this time of year looking for rooks nesting used to be a childhood sport for me since the height of the nests was an indicator of the pattern of weather for the summer. (Although I’m not sure that I ever really believed that.)

As I walked towards Stankelt Lane more black shapes swept overhead and then there in Pointer Wood, high in the tree tops was a group of about twenty-five rooks.

Heading homeward on the path that hugs the edge of the field, the views of the distant Howgill fells and of the eastern sky was magnificent. Oh for a longer lens camera…

Noises Off

15 thoughts on “Noises Off

  1. Hello there Mark
    Welcome to Sky Watch.. Ha! better late than never I say.. I called over to say thank you for your visit… then I noticed you had put your name down on Mr Linky. I look forward to seeing more Sky Watches from you.
    I liked very much this set of pictures, but more than that I found you wrote a good story. I was left wanting to read more.

    I’m off now to checkout more of your postings while having my morning tea & toast.

  2. Well hello there!! I stopped by Wigger’s World and found a big thumb’s up sign. I almost always take Tom’s advice so I followed his extended digit and found you. Love your writing and pictures. BTW, a Yard is only 36inches. So not so much lard!

  3. I stopped by from Skywatch Friday and at Tom’s urging. Your photos are wonderful in this post and the previous ones. I have spent a little time exploring your other entries and will definitely come back to look some more.

  4. Ok so Tom is one of my favorite bloggers along with some great other ones, and he has this thumbs up photo about you and here i am and loving your photos and your story telling. I love photos but i am no good at story telling, but love to read others. Great job and i hope to see more of your blog

  5. Came by on Tom’s recommendation–love your sky photos. I have not officially joined any skywatch group, but have take sky photos forever. So I love seeing everyone else’s and yours sure are nice.

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