The Bird at the Window

A June walk near Richmond in Yorkshire.  Not this June as it happens, but it’s a walk I remember well.

This was the countryside we strolled through.

And this was the abbey we found near the end: Easby Abbey, ruined since shortly after the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536, and  as atmospheric as ruins generally are.

The site includes the not-at-all-ruined parish church which is still very much in use.  When we popped in, we didn’t expect to find a poor swallow, struggling to get out.  Church members were trying to help him, but he was still vying with stained glass angels as we left.  Poor swallow.

A feathered bird meets a feathered angel at the church window.

 

Birder friends: can you help please?  I realise this may not be a swallow, but it doesn’t seem to be a swift or house martin either.  Thoughts?

Monday Window

40 thoughts on “The Bird at the Window”

    1. I guess it did. Churches round here usually employ active measures (double doors etc.) to keep birds out, but this one got in anyway. Ah. North Yorkshire. It can be pricey – but it depends where you look.

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    1. Actually Susan, I don’t think this is a re-post. For some reason I haven’t told this tale before I don’t think. Butyes, it was lovely.

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  1. June is a lovely time for a walk – especially where you live. I’ve been tramping through my step-mom’s neighborhood this past week, hills, concrete, and very warm and humid. Hope you are able to get out and tramp through the meadows soon. Peace.

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  2. I love your first photograph there and it captured my attention as I am looking for inspiration for drawing some floral motifs. As for the bird, if it was an Australian native bird, I could have assisted. I am not familiar with European species.
    Such history – this Abbey was founded centuries before my country was discovered by the Europeans. That always staggers me.

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    1. I know! You may be super-impressed then that the house we live in has traces of its 13th century origins, when lay brothers from Fountains Abbey lived here as sheep farmers.

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      1. Oh my goodness. That is absolutely incredible, Margaret. I am struggling to get my head around it. Nor could I get my head around the country churches in Denmark that were made of ashlar stone and built in the 11th century – at the end of the Viking era! They really knew how to make something to last.
        Do you have a documented history fir the house and are to restricted about what modifications you can do to it?

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      2. Well, we’re tenants, not owners, but certainly the site has history that can’t be tampered with. The house we live in, which has been greatly altered over the centuries, had a country house built adjoining in the 18th century, and in the Victorian era was configured inside to its present state (previously it has been two rooms – upstairs and downstairs. Men upstairs, animals and farm storage downstairs, roughly speaking), as servants quarters. There is some documentation, but not much. The clue to its past comes in the first instance from its name – it was a grange. Granges were monastic farms back when Fountains Abbey was a flourishing community. I bet you’re reeling now.

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      3. What an interesting history. And a comment on human society. Men upstairs and servants downstairs with the animals. Gosh times were tough for women of that era. I am so grateful I live in modern times.
        I wasn’t aware of the meaning of Grange either. I suppose that is why we equate Grange with good wine – Grange Hermitage, back when the monks brewed the wines! Yes, I am reeling but in a good way. I love history, you see. Have you found any juicy stories about previous tenants in years gone by?

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      4. I’ve not explained well. The lay brothers of Fountains Abbey lived there, looking after stock. Who knows what happened after that for the next period of the house’s history? Then later it became the domain of servants. No good stories that I know about!

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  3. Such beautiful photos, Margaret! I do hope the swallow escaped. They usually do – we get them indoors regularly and they’ve always managed to find their way out. (Leaving numerous calling cards in their wake.) Last night we had a bat in the bedroom at 3.00 am… That too, found its way out and thankfully left no calling cards. But I very much hope it doesn’t pay any further visits 😳

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    1. Oh, I remember a bat in my bedroom at night when I was four years old. Not the kind of thing you forget, so … sweet dreams tonight. Despite having swifts, swallows and martins a-plenty round here, so far none has ventured inside. Only a poor sparrow last year, and he was soon evicted, traumatised but safe.

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  4. What a beautiful picture the angel and the distressed bird would make – if it wasn’t for your story!
    I especially love that very first pic, such a peaceful, calming and soothing snap. A beautiful collection.
    In our house from 1920 in France we had regular visits of bats, Luckily their droppings are small and easy to take off the window sills. I loved their eerie sounds and the whooshing sound they made when flashing past.

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