Tuesday 5 June 2012: Woody
Woody has a punky Mohican hair style and lives in a hole in a dead birch tree on the Knott. He doesn't mind drawing attention to himself. He was conversing loudly with one of his parents 100 metres away, and gave me the chance to home in on his "hiding" place. This photograph necessitated getting a stiff neck, so I'm using it even if it is a bit grainy due to the low woodland light. I spent about 10 minutes, neck craning upwards, waiting for his occasional Rapunzel-like appearances at the window.
Woody is a young great spotted woodpecker, there may be several Woodies, it was difficult to tell, as there was only room at the window for one at a time.
It was a grey overcast day, with fine rain that threatened to become something heavier. It was tempting to idle at home, but I'm glad I didn't. Immediately after my encounter with Woody, I veered from the usual route up the hill, and immediately stumbled on a patch of grassland I had never looked at before. It was full of fly orchids , something I have not previously seen on the Knott.
Then at the top of the Knott, on the south side overlooking Arnside Tower Farm, I heard ravens croaking. There were three birds riding the air deflected by the hill, tumbling and turning upside down, performing in an aerial ballet together. The joy of flight.