Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Wildlife - Kirkstall Abbey

Jackdaw Kirkstall Abbey

In the photograph above you will see a Jackdaw (Corvus monedula) the smallest bird of the crow family (corvids). Jackdaws remind me very much of my childhood growing up in Oxford, they often nest in and around old tall buildings and we livid in one. They are a very social bird and its very distinctive call can be heard wherever they congregate. Their call is a high-pitched metallic sounding "tchack", after which it is thought they are named.

Kirkstall Abbey Walls

The walls of the ruined Kirkstall Abbey are ideal for jackdaws. On the day I took the photograph above there were quite a few jackdaws wheeling high above the ground around these walls.

The jackdaw like the magpie has quite a few myths and folklore superstitions about it. In some cultures, a jackdaw on the roof is said to predict a new arrival. Alternatively, a jackdaw settling on the roof of a house or flying down a chimney is an omen of death and coming across one is considered a bad omen. But not for me!

On the park sign at the entrance to the parkland it says there are woodpeckers, nuthatches and bats I never saw any of these. Perhaps on another day, if you visit the Abbey and its parkland you will be more fortunate, it is a haven for wildlife.

Over the next few days the Leeds photo daily will be exploring a little of Headingley an area of Leeds a little north of the city centre.


  1. The old Abbey seems well worth a visit. The Jackdaw is called Kaja in Swedish. I recently scared away a few hundred jackdaws as I was trying to close in on a few Common Cranes!

  2. I've never heard of this type of bird before! Nice shot! I like your new picture!

  3. what a beautiful abbey! Ferris wheel too..well done.

  4. The bird looks like it's in a bad mood. What did you do to it? :-)

    Sorry if I haven't visited lately. I've been on the craziest holiday ever.

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  5. I love those birds, they are so funny and sweet, nice you captured one for the blog :)


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