6 January 2019

Something with a very hearty appetite has managed to circumvent our crow-proof bird-feeder. The feeder hangs from our cherry tree and resembles a giant glass doughnut. Small birds can enter either of the doughnut holes to get to the seeds inside; large birds and squirrels can’t get at the food because the glass is too slippery to gain purchase when trying to reach in. But a couple of the local magpies have now learnt to hover at the doughnut opening and shove their heads inside. Magpies are crows: I should probably ask for my money back!

The garden pheasants appreciate the magpies’ new trick. They rush across the lawn to stand under the feeder as the pied villains approach. There is always considerable spillage, and the pheasants are the main beneficiaries.

The caged bird-table and the metal feeder by the kitchen window remain unmolested by crows. I suspect proximity to the house is the primary deterrent.

A hour or so to take down the Christmas decorations. Another couple of hours to put them back up again next December. Is it really worth all the hassle? (Of course it is.)

A late-afternoon walk around the lanes with Jen in the gloaming. The hill-fog crept down from the Moor as we walked, so we returned home slightly damp, even though it wasn’t raining. Time for a brew and a fire.

Richard Carter is a writer and photo­grapher living in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
Buy my book: On the Moor: Science, History and Nature on a Country Walk
…wonderful. Science and history and geography and evolution and culture all tangled up in musings while walking about the moors around Hebden Bridge.”—PZ Myers
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