Written by Phil Brown, Badger Bushcrat Blog Thursday, 02 June 2011 09:50
A recent purchase of a secondhand SIGMA 170-500mm F5-6.3 APO lens for our Canon EOS 40D digital SLR camera that we use for photographing both flora and fauna led to an interesting evening watching the local jackdaws.
Jackdaws (Corvus monedula) can live in quite large social groups and the population in the center of our village is no exception. Often nesting in redundant chimneys on some of the older properties; we regularly watch them land on the chimney pots before deftly dropping their wings and descending the brick smokestacks. This sight never fails to amaze and to a certain extent amuse and some folk still refer to jackdaws as “chimney sweep birds”.
An intelligent bird the jackdaw, of the Corvus family that includes crows and ravens, is distinguishable with its iridescent black plumage with grey nape and cheeks. The juveniles start life with a blue iris and as the bird matures, normally after a year, the iris turns white.
As a young child living in the village of Weald, now referred to as Sevenoaks Weald, in the county of Kent we had an exceptionally tame bird that would visit my parents garden daily and feed several feet away from where I would sit and watch. The bird was given the obvious name of “Jackie” and eventually I was able to feed this very tolerant jackdaw by hand.
Also sharing the same roost were several wood pigeons which are a very beautiful bird in their own right.
Childhood memories of such close encounters with wildlife have provided me with some of the most treasured memories and I often find myself fondly reminiscing during quite moments or when out watching The Nature in my adulthood.
Working with young people and sharing with them these experiences is at the heart of the Badger Bushcraft business ethos. In today’s modern world where there can be so many distractions and where communications seem to run at light speed we believe that it is essential to take a step back from all the hustle and bustle and simply “stand and stare”. The simple yet delightful encounters with the flora and fauna that surround us act as exceptionally powerful conductors that ground and reconnect us with our landscape and the creatures we share it with.
We would all benefit from taking just a few moments out of our busy daily schedules to put the brakes on and look at the natural world around us – we just need to “stop and stare”.