Posted on 14 Comments

Rookery Wood


Rookery Wood - Cameos of Birdlife #2

Not far from where I used to live as a child (see photo in the previous post), close by the village church 1 there was a rookery. I would often stay out, well past my bedtime, watching and listening, until all the sounds of the day had faded away; and there was just the stillness before night ...

the rookery hushed
- bedtime

The daylight has lingered on longer than expected, but now the gloom of the short January evening is settling down fast in the wood. ... There rises a loud though distant clamour of rooks and daws, who have restlessly moved in their roost-trees. Darkness is almost on them, yet they cannot quite settle. The cawing and dawing rises to a pitch, and then declines; the wood is silent, and it is suddenly night.

From - January in the Sussex Woods - Richard Jefferies

For more beautiful writing on Rooks - Tish Farrell (Writer on the Edge) has written a wonderful series of posts about the rookery behind her house.

Organized Chaos In Rookery Wood

And now it really is bedtime.


The header image is from an original watercolour - ‘A Parliament of Rooks’ by Winifred Marie Louise Austen, 1876 - 1964

Winifred Maria Louise Austen (1876 - 1964) - was an English illustrator, painter, etcher and aquatint engraver. She was widely admired and collected; even the naturalist Sir Peter Scott – himself so able a wildlife artist – said Austen was, ‘certainly the best bird-etcher of this (last) century’.


The recording in this post is used here under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 license. This and many more can be found at - Xeno-Canto


  1. St Mary’s Church Timsbury. The name of Timsbury means a wooded vale, a fortified place. It is believed to have Anglo-Saxon origins, and was mentioned in the Doomsday Book. In 1614 the village consisted of about 50 dwellings most of them around the church and Church Lane.
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
January 13, 2021 7:53 am

Brilliant…and so is the image

Tish Farrell
January 13, 2021 10:03 am

What a happy gathering of rooks in words and etching.

January 13, 2021 12:01 pm

This is a wonderful post! Rooks are such brilliant conversationalist!

Helen White
January 13, 2021 3:14 pm

One of my very favourite things, to watch and hear the rooks coming back in to roost. Fantastic artwork!

January 16, 2021 9:04 pm

[…] This bedtime hokku was composed by Clive Bennett. […]

January 19, 2021 9:56 am

Good morning to the rooks. A great late night post to celebrate our birds. I love the description and then your so elegant and apt haiku.

Reply to  Clive Bennett
January 20, 2021 9:35 pm

We have a great roost of jackdaws here as there are many tall trees along the Middlewood Way, once a railway line in U.K. In Spain it is ravens flying overhead and a great roost near a castle on a hill. Childhood memories are so important in connecting with nature.

Andrea Stephenson
January 23, 2021 4:38 pm

Lovely Clive, I’ve seen rooks massing before going to roost and it’s an amazing sight, but I love the way you’ve captured the subsequent quiet.