10 April 2021

Took Jen to visit her mum. With half an hour to kill while I waited, I headed up the hill to Crow Nest Wood with my snazzy birthday binoculars. Last time I walked up there, a couple of weeks ago, I heard the car-alarm call of a nuthatch. So I decided to sit on a rock and do a spot of nature waiting.

A nuthatch appeared within minutes. As raucous as ever, but it still took me a couple of minutes to locate the bird flitting up a silver birch. Blue back and russet underside, with a narrow bandit mask across the eyes. Striking little birds. I watched for a good 15 minutes as it chiselled violently into woody crevices with its stiletto beak, trying to prise out grubs. It seemed to be having a lot of success. It was then joined by a second nuthatch, that immediately and successfully begged for food. Some sort of courtship ritual, I assume.

Nuthatch
Nuthatch

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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