In the last few weeks, it has seemed so quiet on the wildlife front, maybe because the summer migrants have gone and the winter migrants are just arriving. Around our house in Kirkheaton, Huddersfield, the best place to see wildlife is in our garden where there is such a variety of food that a host of birds turn up every day. We are probably a bit blasé about the number of birds we have so we’re always on the lookout for something a bit different. For instance, an irregular visitor is the treecreeper and last month we had the only one we’ve seen in the garden since June last year.
Then yesterday, right over the house soared a beautiful red kite. Now, if you live 20 miles away near Leeds you’re probably wondering what the fuss is all about but the last and only time we saw a red kite in Kirkheaton was February, 2014, more than 6 years ago. We are so used to seeing buzzards. Last week, we had 5 up together but a red kite here is just something else. And, today, a grey wagtail made an appearance, last seen in the garden in June last year, the same month as the treecreeper last made an appearance.
The grey wagtail was sitting on the house roof so, to try and attract him into the garden, I switched the pump on for our waterfall and stream. Within minutes he was bathing and then preening himself on the side of the stream.
Watching the ‘ordinary’ birds is still such a pleasure but having a special visitor is like having a special friend drop in unannounced. I last saw the kite disappear over the Scrog to the old quarry and I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that he’ll stay around. I’ll let you know if he does.