Friday, 11 January 2008

Noisy Neighbours

Apart from the Rookery at the top of our garden we have quiet neighbours. But Rooks do make rather noisy neighbours. There is a small copse at the top of our rear garden. It contains a fair sized Rookery. It increases in numbers yearly. I've lived with Rooks for nearly 27 years - from Gloucestershire to Devon. I rarely notice their chatter. Visitors find them noisy and distracting. Especially when we are having a garden tea party. I love having them around. They are far less of a distraction than a passing plane or an air sea rescue helicopter clattering overhead. I'm glad to say there are not as many as was shown recently on a BBC television programme.

I can see the rookery from my kitchen window so am aware of thier daily goings on. I don't know what it is but something makes them suddenly swirl up in the air with a clamour of calls, wheel about for a while then settle back on the perches. I usually notice the movement first then I hear the sound. On reading this article I see it may predict weather patterns; I'll have to try and see if it does fit with this observation during this year.

The raucous calls, the arguments, disputes and gossiping chatter. No wonder the collective nouns for rooks are Parliament, Building or Clamour. The make fascinating neighbours. Always industrious they are invariably repairing or rebuilding their nests. Sometimes their chatter continues intermittently throughout the night. Less so in the cold depths of midwinter nights.

Now behind the copse of trees at the top of our garden there are many arable fields. These fields are always full of feeding rooks during the day. But not from 'our' rookery. No our rooks fly off each morning in a north easterly direction. They cross paths with rooks flying in from a north westerly direction to feed in the fields behind us. Rooks commute. Single rooks also have an odd way of flying. As we live almost at the top of a hill we get to see many individual birds flying towards us at eye level. Rooks have a strange sideways flight. They rarely seem to fly from A to B in a direct manner. They seem to flap their wings, looking left and right as they fly and travel at a drifting angle. It's very hard to predict exactly where they intend to go. In spring when they are carrying large twigs back to the nest they often drop them just short and our garden rapidly becomes littered with very large twigs.


Anonymous said...

I definitely prefer noisy rooks for neighbors than noisy people. ;) I will be interested in knowing whether you make any observations about their behavior and the weather. I thought the video was cool too. So awesome to see such a large group of them swirling through the air like a living cyclone.

Stinking Billy said...

Hello, Gorgeous, what a lovely little insight into rook behaviour, especially the bit about them almost flying sideways.

But, I'm here on the cadge, Penny. Any chance of a few words on converting words in my text into links? Miraculously, I have remembered how to link fellow bloggers onto my home page list, but I have never discovered how to introduce a link into a post.

Bless you,

lady thinker said...

Hello teeni and St billy nice to see you. sorry have not been over to yours much lately as have been over busy on domestic tasks - just grab a few moments here n ther to put up posts so people don't forget about me. I hope to be over to catch up with all your posts later next week.

Billy here's what you do: It's very similar process to gather the page by right click copy as you do to link bloggers to your site. So find the web page you want to embed in your text - righ click and copy - return to your compose post box then highlight the words you wish to link to the web page and then look for a little button that looks a bit like a little heart with a green shadow up on the immedaite left of the 'align left' text button - as you hover over it with your mouse cursor the work link springs up. Click on this and another little box marked as hyperlink springs to lfe you want to delete the http/ which is already in the box and then when balnk box add in by right clicking your link you want to paste in - press Ok and then it is done. Remember to press the save button when done.

Mopsa said...

If that's your garden.....WOW!

rilly super said...

my husband and I went to see an open air production of Romeo and Juliet in the grounds of the Bowes Museum a few years ago. Unfortunatly the play was timed so that it fell dark towards the end, thus adding the atmosphere but also this coincided with the crows coming into roost in the trees behind the stage and as you will know penny they don't judy go to bed with a quiet mug of cocoa like us. what a racket! you couldn't hear a word for half an hour

merry weather said...

Wow! What a beautiful garden you have, that must be a joy to look out on each day :)

Winchester whisperer said...

Maybe you could befriend one and teach it to speak like the raven in the Tower of London who said good morning to Putin.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Crikey that's a nice big garden! Do you do the gardening yourself?

lady thinker said...

I know - am lucky and do enjoy it - but not when the badger visits and digs up the lawns - as been doing over the last 6 weeks.
Luckily it's mostly shrubs so it takes care of itself to some extent. A bit of pottering here and there and dividing plants to fill gaps etc. Have 2 hours help a week from a gardener to do the heavy work that I'm unable to undertake myself nowadays in my weak muscled old age. sigh.

toby said...

OMG!!! Methinks we live on different planets, lady thinker. One day, if I work hard and stay lucky, I hope to have a garden like yours.

Stinking Billy said...

Penny, a million thanks! I just returned to my blog of today and embedded three link. How about that?

I might do a few more this week, just for the practice. ;-)

lady thinker said...

Or unlucky Toby - gardening is a bit of a back breaker.

I'm on my way over Billy bILLY.

Angelina Ballerina said...

Hi, I am sorry to interrupt your blog with a question, but I could not find any other way to ask via email or privately ;)

I am in the midst of buying my dream home, its an 18th century farmhouse with various outbuildings and 2 acres of land, the only thing that puts me off is the rookery that is about 30 yards from the main house. There is about 4 trees and about 12 nests, but they do grow in numbers according to the lovely man who has lived there since 1964. Can you tell me if they were that close to your front door would you be happy ? Are they noisy all day long, do they stay all year round ? I hope you will let me know before I make the mistake of my life, I love wildlife but I dont like a huge amount of noise. I live near a motorway now so am longing for the peace and tranquility the countryside has to offer, although with my five children and a dog I guess I wont get that much peace. The younges two kids are 7 and 8, will they be afraid of the rooks do you think ?

Any advice would be appreciated.



lady thinker said...

Hello Angelina Ballerina - how lovely to meet you - I hope you wont mind if I shorten your name to Angel Ball should you re-visit my blog and leave a comment again in future.

Well Angel, rooks are very noisy.The country is just as noisy in its way as the towns. Rooks can be destructive to lawns searching out grubs and worms but they are also highly intelligent and very entertaining to watch. They chatter a lot most of the time - even at night during the breeding season. One gets used to it after a while. I know I'd rather have a rookery over road noise anyday. We have no passing traffic - well minimal - so that any motor noise makes us wonder who it is - very intrusive it is.
From what I've heard there is no peace to be had anywhere in the UK. From aircraft, to roads to church bells to animals. But give me the noise of animals, rooks, lambs bleating all night long, and church bells ringing a peal all are far preferable a 'noise' over the infernal combustion engine anyday.
Good luck in your quest.If you only have 4 trees I'm sure the rookery wont increase year on year - some of them willhave to move on somewhere else. You could get a shotgun - I have a recipe for rook pie if you should be interested. I've not tried it myself. ;-)

Bee said...

thankyou for your reply :)

I actually have ( or will have after signing contracts ) about 80 trees, they just occupy about four trees at the moment :)

I appreciate your comments, thankyou, I agree birds are better than motorways, traffic noise etc, and I shall count my blessings for no longer living next door to a main road and a motorway :)

lady thinker said...

Ah - you prefer to be called Bee to Angel Ball - understandable.

Good luck - I hope it all goes well for you. 80 trees - how lucky. By the time the rookery becomes very large you may well have tuned them out - just as i do most of the time.

I hope you start a blog to let us know how your new life goes - have you seen Wife in the North's blog?

Bee said...

hi there, hmm i had not used my blog for so long, i noticed this morning i was still called angelina ballerina, my company name, and thus i changed it to my nickname bee :) your shortie would have been fine really ;)

shotguns .... hmmmm methinks thinking twice about moving is wiser then :(