The Dawn Chorus – Bird Kennings

Last week, we talked about the Dawn Chorus, and wrote some poems in an ancient Anglo Saxon style about some of our favourite birds. The Kenning is a form of poetry that is like a riddle. Can you guess which birds we are describing?


Territory defender
Winter visitor
Christmas card model
Night Singer
People liker
Red breasted


Early alarm caller
Black and glossy
Orange beak and eye
Secret revealer
Nursery rhyme pie ingredient
Gardener’s friend


Swift and turquoise
Fish diver
Riverbank dweller
Water watcher
Branch sitter

1. Robin



2. Blackbird



3. Kingfisher



May Day and Springtime

On one of the coldest weeks in spring for a long time – in fact there was a blizzard as I drove home from my session at Newholme Hospital in Bakewell, we talked about spring blossom, warm weather, dancing around maypoles and the ancient festival of Beltane.

We wrote our own poems on the subject too. I hope you enjoy them!

cherry blossom

Cherry blossom – one of our favourite signs of spring!

Walking in the Woods

Walking in the woods
Looking at the changes at the start of the year.
First, the snowdrops grow,
Then the daffodils,
Followed by the wood anemones –
The pungent wild garlic, rich green with white flowers.
And then the bluebells.
So lovely and fresh – a true sight of spring.

In the summer,
I love walking on the beach,
When the sand comes up between your toes,
Feeling the sea water
Swirl around my ankles
Dreaming of Cornwall
The hotel on the headland in Newquay…
Until I step on a razor shell,
And I come back to reality.


Springtime in Buxton

It’s cold outside and trying to snow.
Scrape the frost off the car before you go.
But on the trees, the buds are growing.
In the fields, the farmers are sowing.

The lambs are playing, jumping high
Above our heads, the swallows fly.
The garden blackbird building his nest.
Busy rabbits in the garden never seem to rest.

We’re making the most of longer days
Look forward to summer holidays.
Around the maypole children dance
The May Queen gets many an admiring glance.

The cherry blossom falls like snow.
Sun on my face – I feel aglow.


Apple Blossom and Bluebells

Lambs frolicking in the dales
Jumping around, shaking their tales.
The purple heather blooms on the moors
The yellow primroses around our doors.

The bluebells form a carpet of blue
We wash our face in the morning dew.
And smell the fragrance of them too
Lovely cherry blossom – what a view!

Apple blossom white and pink
Over before we’ve got time to think
On the bough the blackbird sings,
And lots of birds spread their wings.

The cuckoos and swallows come back home
And new seedlings grow from loam.
Still time for cold and wintry blasts
We pray that summer comes and lasts!

Wildlife In Winter

Last week, we thought about wildlife in the UK and around the world, and looked at photos of some of our favourite animals as inspiration for this poem, which was started by patients and staff at Walton Hospital in Chesterfield, continued at Cavendish Hospital in Buxton, and completed by patients at Newholme Hospital in Bakewell and their visitors. The weather outside gave us some inspiration too. On Tuesday afternoon particularly, it was sunny, followed by hail and torrential rain in the space of just a few minutes!

Fox in winter

A fox walking on an icy pond.

Wildlife Wonders

There’s a seagull bullying me, stealing my chips!
But my bird table is laid with fat balls and sunflower seeds.
Ducks swimming in the lake and taking a dip
Children giving them bread, the birds eagerly feed.

The spiky hedgehog helps us by eating slugs
We need to do them a good turn to help them to thrive
A hedgehog ramp in the pond. To eat, plenty of bugs,
A bowl of cat food left outside will help them stay alive.

The hooting owl gives us a fright
Out on the hunt for mice and voles
He’s feeding his family through the night
He spies them from high on the telegraph pole.

The robin with his jacket of red
Pretty and with a cheerful song.
He seems to greet us with a bob of his head
And visits the garden all year long.

When the hail bounces down,
The birds dash for cover
The rain’s so heavy, we might drown
Shivering like a plover.

Now the sun’s shining bright
And I am quite confused
It’s too windy to fly a kite
Or look at country views.


A plover – in case you were wondering!