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Rookery Wood

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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 ...

nightfall 
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.

Notes

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’.

Citation

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

Footnotes

  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.
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Padmini
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.

Ashley
Ashley
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!

trackback
January 16, 2021 9:04 pm

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

navasolanature
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.

navasolanature
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.