Many of us who delight in the great outdoors do so partly as a result of flora and fauna that we see there. Wildlife is, after all, all around us and I think it is especially entertaining when one has to go no further than one’s own home to spot it. We live in a remote locale in the centre of the Yorkshire Dales and have a stream or beck as they are known around here flowing across our small garden. Over the coming few posts I will catalogue the many and varied species that we can identify from our windows; what we refer to as our “window list”

At this point of year in early March we are, of course, eagerly awaiting the arrival of spring but we can already see and hear signs of it. For the writer the earliest indicator that Spring is imminent is the knocking of the woodpecker. Here in the North of England the male starts to mark out his territory and attract mates in February. The indigenous birds also become more vocal for the same purpose. Great tits especially seem to develop a great variety of rather lyrical songs at this time of year.

However, we have recently had a visit from a rare bird for us, a siskin. The Siskin is a small finch, about the size of a Blue Tit and with similar agility. They are a glorious bright lime green colour with a dark streaked belly and striking yellow rump, wing bars and sides of the forked tail. Other birds that we see regularly are the Great, Blue, Coal and Long Tailed Tits. The long tailed tits are invariably in flocks of about a dozen all year round and being in such a grouping makes them very brave, 10 birds have 20 eyes and so greater chance to spot trouble. They have a lovely pink colour and my wife refers to them as lollipops due to their distinctive shapes.

Another bird popular because of its apparent braveness is, of course, the robin with its lovely bright breast and willingness to come very near to catch seed and other food thrown in its direction as I replenish the feeders. The robin is quite possibly the most loved of all wild birds and appalling are the omens if you kill one. The yarn that it happened to be a robin who covered the unlucky 'Babes in the Wood' with leaves to assist them remain warm has achieved much to endear it to young children all over the place. Legend states that it obtained its particular red front as it tried to extract the blood soaked thorns from Christ's head as he hung on the cross.

As I sit here writing this I am also treated to the sight and sound of a wren on the fence near to the river. The wren is one of the UKs smallest birds but it for sure has one of the loudest and prettiest songs as it marls its territory and tries to attract a mate. Finally I can also see a field vole that lives in the walls of a 200 year old outbuilding as it flits in and out for food. Many people confuse these with mice, however, the latter have longer tails and bigger ears.

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Author's Bio: 

Bruno Blackstone is a freelance writer interested in all things to do with the outdoors and helping others get the most from the outdoors. Starting with a psychology degree his early career was as a social worker and family therapist working with families to help them achieve more positive and stable relationships. In his more recent career he has coached many senior executives in both small and large organisations in areas such as strategy, human resources, organisational design and performance improvement. He now continues his work in the business world but he is also co-owner of My Outdoor Store a price comparison site for outdoor enthusiasts.