The Wolds Diary column with Sue Woodcock

On the journey to Paull I noticed a huge murmuration of starlings.
On the journey to Paull I noticed a huge murmuration of starlings.

Even for me this has been a very busy week. Apart from the usual things, like walking dogs and existing from day to day, I have been driving some distances to get to the talks I had booked.

It hadn’t helped that I have had a bad cold and have general felt under the weather, but such things have to be put aside. On the Monday I went to Hornsea, to the Yorkshire Countrywomen’s Association to talk to them at the rather charming parish hall there.

They were a very friendly and welcoming group and I was somewhat distressed to learn that this is their final year as their numbers have dwindled so greatly and no one can take on the job of revamping the committee and the club.

The next day it was again the Yorkshire Countrywomen’s Association, this time at the Deepdale Centre at the fine town of Boston Spa.

I arrived rather early and the YCA started to arrive and they have no worries about their numbers! The ladies were an excellent audience and laughed a lot.

The next day was even more busy. I set off for the village of Paull, on the north bank of the Humber Estuary. I had never been there before and having driven through Hull I was interested in the massive industrial areas and docks that line the shore.

I was rather impressed with Paull. It seems to be a thriving village and has a really posh and very new village hall. I had time to do a bit of exploring before I arrived for my talk and drove on past massive sea defence works and industrial sites. It is wonderful that in the midst of upheaval and industrial works you can find the wonders of nature.

I stopped to check where I was, and noticed a huge murmuration of starlings all around the car and the roadside, obviously feeding on something under the trees.

Within about 10 metres of these raucous birds by the road was a charm of goldfinches, which were quite dazzlingly bright and also feeding on something. Then, on the way back to the village I noticed several hares running in a field by an industrial site.

I was made very welcome at the village hall by the Holderness U3A, and they were a great audience. It was then off to Cottingham for my evening talk, at the Darby and Joan Hall there. I had time to have a walk round the town before the talk started to a lovely group of the Townswomen’s Guild.

On Thursday afternoon I headed off slightly further afield, this time to the Almscliffe hall at the village of Huby between Harrogate and Otley.

While I waited I watched the trains go by on the adjacent railway line and an interesting squabble between two jackdaws in the car park. It seemed to end amicably as they flew off together.

The talk went well, and I got home, and managed to take the dogs for a short walk.

I had a moderately quiet day on Friday, shopping, and dog walking, and in the evening made the Pirates rehearsal.