Happy Yorkshire Day

Dunnock by Hannah FoleyIt is with great relief that Little Owl and I have headed down to Yorkshire this week to visit family and friends. We are literally being eaten alive by midges on the farm (me especially). The wet, warm weather is perfect for them. Even the brilliant Skin So Soft has not been keeping them at bay. I intend to deploy Jungle Formula Insect Repellent when we return. It amuses me that the Edinburgh Festival is held in August, possibly the worst month for weather in the Scottish calendar. It is always wet, muggy and full of midges. It’s as if the Scots have got together to play a giant prank on the English by seeing how many they can get to visit, when every other tourist is staying well away. And of course, as well as fleeing the midges, another great reason to head south is that today is Yorkshire Day. Watch this old Hale and Pace clip to get you in the mood!

How are you all getting on with your birds? I’m not doing well at all. I thought I’d got the robin down to a tee but since I’ve been learning the wren I think I was mostly hearing the wren in our garden when I thought it was the robin. Our bird for this week is a Dunnock. I’m ashamed to say I’d not heard of a Dunnock, otherwise known as a Hedge Sparrow. It is one of a contingent of SBBs (Small Brown Birds), as Big Dreamer and I call them, which seem indistinguishable to our untrained eyes. Simon Barnes calls its song a “rather flat little burble”. Apparently, despite their plainness, the private lives of Dunnocks are a hotbed of “infidelities and deceptions.” Who would have thought a bird soap opera was being played out right in front of our kitchen window?! Here is the link for the Dunnock’s song.

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