Beyond the Edge


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.

Trees behind the Home Sense store
Trees behind the Home Sense store.

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.

  • Looking east towards Bruntcliffe
One of my early images for my online nature diary, drawn in pen but coloured on the computer in an early version of Photoshop in a limited palette to save bandwidth which was very limited in the days of dial-up connections.

Link: Lapwings over Ikea, my Wild West Yorkshire nature diary for Tuesday 1 December 1998.