Took Rosie the reluctant cocker spaniel for a drag up to Crow Nest Wood shortly before dusk. Jackdaws were congregating in one of the beech trees at the edge of the wood. To Rosie’s relief, I decided to stand and watch them for a while, as they chaked and fidgeted. Small groups of new birds flew in sporadically from different directions. As each new group neared the roost, the birds in the tree called out greetings. Then, after ten minutes or so, for no reason I could fathom, an alarm call from a single bird was duplicated and spread in a split second throughout the roost. All the birds took flight, amid a clamour of squarks.
The flock billowed and split, then re-coalesced and headed off towards more distant trees. But, during the next five minutes or so, they returned in dribs and drabs to their preferred original tree.
“…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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