Birstall Retail Park: Beyond the stores you glimpse belts of trees interspersed by hillside meadows. The nearby M62 is out of the sight, if not quite out of earshot. This is such a contrast to when we first came here (see link below), when old colliery spoil heaps to the east were being used as a municipal rubbish dump prior to landscaping the whole area.
Even the car park itself holds some attractions for the local birds. A magpie scouts around beneath a shrub, a sparrow closely inspects the links of a chain, a crow surveys the scene from a lamp-post, a wood pigeon flies over.
Daisy, sowthistle, willowherb, creeping buttercup and black medick are in flower on the verges. Leafy backwaters aren’t far away beyond the stores.
With a hour to spare before the film, we take a walk around the Showcase cinema car park. Beyond the steep grass verge at the bottom end of the car park there’s a steep valley where alders, willows and giant hogweed grow beside a storm channel which is currently running dry.
A chiff chaff is singing and we hear another warbler – a bubbly song – which we identify as garden warbler. This deciduous woodland with dense undergrowth is the right habitat for it.
Link: Lapwings over Ikea, my Wild West Yorkshire nature diary for Tuesday 1 December 1998.