Friday 28 June 2013

Wafflings on Matters of Yaffle.

I am, to put it kindly, a very simple pimple- I am, by nature, rather a Luddite, who often finds the speed of the modern world and change quite dizzying. I have, over time though, come to notice small details and incidents and it's quite frankly such moments that give me the greatest delight......

To set the scene there I was a few days ago scooting along in the metal box with a wheel at each corner when I was lucky enough to espy a green woodpecker rootling around in the verge for insects. It is always a shock and rare treat when I see one of these, as they are shy birds, but it is the stunningly bright hit of colour from their plumage which takes my breath away- I enjoy the spectacle of the great variety of British birds, but quite frankly, most have a quiet, low key appeal when it comes to feathers. Not so this chap....dare one say this one is rather a dandy....

Since childhood I have always known them  as a yaffle- I hear them in the trees around my home calling frantically in the spring but  can rarely spot them. The term means laughing and is used to describe the very distinctive sound they make. All of us of ahem a certain age may also be familiar with Professor Yaffle, he of Bagpuss fame!

In folklore the bird is associated with rain hence its name of Rainbird and it has also been called Laughing Betsey, Yappingdale and and Jack Eikle. Unlike its spotted relative, it won't come to your bird feeder, but they can often be seen digging in the ground for ants- the resulting ruts and furrows left behind by this activity have led to further associations with ploughing.

Definitely on my top ten of favourite avians.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Ghost Post

 [Photo by M Duffy] This is one of the major things which has been taking up my time these past couple of weeks. All those white sheets and ...