Posted by: atowhee | April 20, 2014


The Rook is smart enough to play chess, not simply be the name for four pieces on the board. At Audley End, a grand manor house in the Stuart tradition in Essex, I got a chance to watch them in action on the lush lawn.audley rook2 In flight the Rook resembles a Raven not the smaller crows. The Rook can soar and glide on its large wings. In an earlier blog I showed one the bird’s colonial nesting sites.

audley rook4
audly rook1
rook face

Here the Rook is looking at the ground.

rook looks This close-up shows the bare skin at the base of the beak, a prominent field mark: rook head

I can hear those with real estate envy whining to see the housed and grounds…so here you are:AUDLEY HOUSEThe house was begun in 1602 by a supporter of the newly crowned Stuart kings (after QEI’d death). It actually passed into Stuart ownership for a while when the builders went broke.
This little stream is the River Cam which flows gently through the grounds. This is the stream that has a city and university named after its most famous crossing: Cam-bridge. The ornate little shed by the riverbank is the duck house so the little Mallard families can shelter out of reach of foxes at night.

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