Tuesday, 16 February 2016

A Good Start to the Day

Now that it is beginning to get light a little earlier my pleasure at the start of the day has suddenly increased, as it does every year.  I sit up in bed, the curtains drawn back, drinking my morning cup of tea (which the farmer has brought me every single morning in the twenty two years we have been married) and wait for the first signs.   Still the weather has to be fairly cloudless for it to be light enough, but this week because it is frosty and sunny each day, the sky has been clear.

And suddenly they come - the rooks.   They come in their thousands from the rookery half a mile down the road, calling importantly to one another as they pass over and in front of the house on the way to their feeding grounds in the fields up the dale.   It takes them half an hour to pass.

This morning I had another sight to thrill at the same time.  There is a post holding the telephone wires between our house and next door's and throughout the time the rooks were passing, a barn owl sat on the post watching them.   As they finished going past, it lifted its great wings and glided off nonchalantly across the fields.

The birds at the bird table - the spotted woodpeckers,  the various tits, the robin, the blackbirds, the hedge, tree and house sparrows, the pheasants, the jackdaw and the wood pigeons - suddenly seemed quite tame by comparison.

I have to make the most of it.   In a couple of weeks it will be light enough for them to be past before the curtains are open.   They are early risers.

26 comments:

donna baker said...

What a glorious way to start the day. I bet you love the sunshine.

angryparsnip said...

Wonderful images.
I can not believe it takes a half an hour for all the rooks to pass.
Amazing.

cheers, parsnip

Heather said...

That is truly a wonderful start to the day and one of the joys of living in the countryside. We see rooks but not in those numbers and I like to think that there are owls nearby but have never seen one here.

Joanne Noragon said...

Neither curtain in my bedroom will rise in the morning until it is wonderfully warm outside. One window faces east, one north. The sun comes in around the curtain edges, and I go further under the covers until my alarm rings. But then, I do not have rooks passing, to engage me.

Sue in Suffolk said...

Lovely to watch but I bet you are glad you don't live under the rookery as they are a bit noisy.
All over Suffolk there are farms called Rookery Farm is it the same in your area?

Bovey Belle said...

We were up and out by 4 a.m. yesterday (on our way to Heathrow to collect our son, home from his travels). We swopped drivers at Membury and it was BITTERLY cold outside. Much colder than at home. It was just starting to get light then and we were fortunate enough to see a small swoop of Starlings setting out for the day, changing shapes and pouring themselves through the skies.

Instead of Jackdaws looking for scraps across the car park, there were Rooks. I think you had one or two more up your way though!

Terry and Linda said...

YAY! I saw Red-winged Black Birds here and BlueBirds...we are going to make it, Pat. The Spring birds are coming back!

Linda

Mac n' Janet said...

Never get tired of watching birds and listening to them. Lately on our morning walk it's been woodpeckers, the large ones we call Heckle and Jeckle because of an old tv cartoon and some smaller ones.
How exciting to see an owl in flight, the best we've been able to do lately is to watch turkey buzzards riding thermals.

Wilma said...

I can't bear to have curtains on my windows and loose even a moment of daylight. But then again, the earliest the sun comes up here is 5:15. It must be fantastic to watch all those rooks pass by; I have never seen such a sight.

Mary said...

That's an amazing number of rooks - the sound must be awesome.
I love owls but rarely see them here - perhaps because there are no barns now, just a lot of tall office buildings going up
along with shops, restaurants etc. Our city is spreading out into the suburbs and we have to drive to the country now for larger birds. One nearby 'bedroom community' which was so small when we moved here over 30 years ago, is now so huge with mostly high salaried homeowners, and rhas 26 full-sized grocery stores scattered around - and the 27th is trying to move in!!! People are becoming outraged.

I'm reading The Shepherd's Life and want to move close to your area or the Lake District - along with the Swaledale and Herdwick sheep! I truly would love to come back to that kind of life, if I was only younger. Nice to dream though!

Cro Magnon said...

I don't think I've ever seen a rookery of quite that size, but the small ones I do see are wonderful; complete communities.

Derek Faulkner said...

It must get light earlier there Pat, it's still dark here at 5.30 when I get up and still dark this morning at 6.00. We get the same corvid spectacle at first light and dusk, but it's c.400 Jackdaws going to the marsh across the road.

Pondside said...

What a sight that must be.
.....and tea every morning for 22 years! I am slightly envious of that too!

Coppa's girl said...

Not sure if we get rooks here, this far south in Europe. Do you know, I've never thought about it, so must find out.
No early morning tea in bed for us, ever since the Teasmade broke about 45 years ago ! We're no longer tea drinkers, so hubby is up at 7a.m. to let the dogs out, and load the coffee machine, which splutters happily (it needs cleaning again)whilst we shower and get dressed.

The Cranky said...

Although our days are getting longer, the sun doesn't come up quite so early... I'm generally awake well before it is.

Librarian said...

What a lovely and cosy description of your start to the day! Most of all, I love the thought of your husband bringing you tea to your bed every morning.

Frances said...

How lovely to see a barn owl, my favourite bird, but there are none round here. We do however have an increasing number of green parakeets that have moved here ( Harpenden) from west London presumably. I hear and see them every morning on my dog walk along the river. They sound like a cross between a budgie and a seagull…horrid noise!

Rachel said...

I watch the rooks go over every morning when I go outside to go to work. They delay me by about 3 minutes maximum. I see a barn owl hunting in the same spot each morning on the drive to the station.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Sue - as a child I lived opposite a large rookery with all its noise. I think that is why I love them so much. And as to farms called 'Rookery Farm; - I have never seen one but I wish our farm was called just that!

Frances - I think there will come a day when macaws have reached up this far in the country - that would e interesting.

Rachel said...

Many Rookery Farms in Norfolk too.

Dartford Warbler said...

My North Lincolnshire Granny lived opposite a farm where the rooks congregated in trees beside the house. Your post brought it all back - that cacophony of rook cries!

Here we have a crow family and a small flock of jackdaws who live in the trees on the hill.

Midmarsh John said...

When we are on our early morning walk we often see and hear Rooks leaving the two small Rookeries nearby. Recently I have been hearing Mistle and Song Thrushes. Always nice to know there are still some around.

the veg artist said...

My joy is watching the world become light again. For a few weeks at each end of the year, this coincides with sitting up in bed, book and coffee to hand. Mostly, I'm on my own, and have to make it myself (having fed the cat, opened some curtains and other mundanities), but sometimes, when hubby is working from home, and at weekends, coffee arrives on a tray, and is accompanied by a natter. At the moment, our forsythia is just starting to show yellow - always cheery!

Elizabeth said...

Hooray for rooks!
Memories of my Essex childhood

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks for calling everyone.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Fabulous way to start the day. As the days get longer I try to be awake before the first robin sings - which is just before 4:15 on the longest day of the year. Some days I am awake and some days not.