Well, spring is just around the corner, and with that the birds are getting excited and singing their hearts out in order to claim their territory and attract a mate; St Valentine’s day is not just for humans. Folklaw in some parts has it as the day birds choose their mate and Geoffrey Chaucer mentions ‘Saynt Valentyn’ in his mid-fourteenth-century poem “The Parlement of Fowles” – where three male eagles seek the’claw’ of a female eagle . In Parkinson’s Park, you may have heard the resident great tits chirping away with their “teacher teacher teacher”calls, along with their pals, the blue tits.
A very attractive wading bird has returned to the Park/building site in the past few days. This bird is the “oystercatcher” a predominantly black and white bird with a bright orange bill. Two birds were seen at 2.30pm yesterday (Friday 17th February).
A very rare bird of prey is currently residing in the Ilkley moor area; a recent arrival from Northern Europe. It is a rough legged buzzard (buteo lagopus) so called because of its feathered legs. It is much paler than the common buzzard with a white tail and dark terminal band, somewhat resembling a small golden eagle; keep your eyes peeled for a possible visit ! (More pictures from Graham Catley here)
Other birds seen recently in the park have been the resident crows and magpies, along with the red kite and sparrowhawk, and a possible peregrine last Wednesday morning!