28 April 2020

Sitting in the dining room with the patio door open, researching my next chapter, I am disturbed by a commotion outside: the frantic chink-chink-chink! alarm-call of a blackbird. I glance up to see a black blur shoot past the window with a blue-grey blur in hot pursuit.

The twin blurs disappear briefly round the back of the blossoming cherry tree, then crash into the undergrowth in the corner of the garden. Chink-chink-chink! Chink-chink-chink!

I rush over to the door and watch as rhododendron, bramble and black bamboo are knocked violently back and forth. Chink-chink-chink! Chink-chink-chink!

After twenty seconds or so, a male sparrowhawk emerges, empty taloned, shooting off low, a murderous gleam in his sulphurous eye.

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
“…wonderfully droll, witty and entertaining… At their best Carter’s moorland walks and his meandering intellectual talk are part of a single, deeply coherent enterprise: a restless inquiry into the meaning of place and the nature of self.”
Mark Cocker, author and naturalist
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