25 March 2020

An hour-long chat with a friend on the phone. The weather was fabulous, so I stood outside, leaning over the back gate for the call. All sorts of avian action was going on in the garden and surrounding fields: a male chaffinch attacked his own reflection in the arched barn window; starlings shot back and forth in a mini murmuration; rooks and jackdaws cavorted; goldfinches twittered; and a pair of curlew burbled above the back field. It has been the most glorious start to spring.

Curlews

In the evening, Jen and I took a walk around the lanes. As we headed along the farm track, I spotted an approaching buzzard being half-heartedly mobbed by a pair of rooks. Buzzards are relatively rare around here, what with it being sheep- and grouse-country. But as the ‘buzzard’ flew nearer, I realised it was no such thing… I was looking at only my second ever Hebden Bridge red kite. What a thrill!

Red kite

By Richard Carter

Richard Carter is a writer and photo­grapher living in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. Website · Facebook · Twitter · Newsletter · Book

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