THE DOVES and half pigeons down the street from me have decided that the bird feeders in my back yard belong them.
Let me tell you something you possibly already know. These are not placid creatures – in the last week I have spotted one of them grabbing a not so little starling in its beak, and they’re always trying to peck each others’ eyes out, for a reason best known to themselves.
They chase off robins, blackbirds and everything else on the wing in a weird attempt to claim my back garden as their territory. They are very tame. I invited one of them yesterday to step into my pre-heated oven, and it was tempted.
Collins Complete Guide to British Birds has it this way: “You will have no problem seeing this species; the only difficulty will arise when it comes to trying to make the distinction between ancestral-like Feral Pigeons and genuine Rock Doves.” ♣
I AM FEEDING the birds with a bird feeder in my back garden. There are Coal Tits, Blue Tits and other Finch like species taking advantage of the Tesco bounty. In the cold weather, the Robin takes advantage at ground level of spilled seed.
But lo! What’s this? Two days back I observed a Wood Pigeon, not the brightest of birds, just sitting quietly amongst the fallen apples, waiting for seeds to fall from the feeder, just sitting very quietly indeed.
And then today the Wood Pigeon really went off on one. It decided to take matters into its own, er, claws. It flew up onto the branch where the feeder is, and did a kind of jig so that seeds would fall off and it could eat them.
This is the most intelligent Wood Pigeon in the world because it is a Wood Pigeon Entrepreneur. Even Cock Robin was aghast at its gall. I will catch a picture, when and if I can. Birds seem to be a bit nervous in my back yard, in Oxford. It’s probably something to do with the railways, and the foxes. As an investigative journalist, I will capture this clever Wood Pigeon. And interview it, if possible. ♣
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Tagged blue tits, chaffinches, coal tits, feeder, finches, Oxford, pigeons, railways, Robins, sparrows, Tesco, wood pigeons
JUST OUTSIDE my tiny back yard is a tremendous Holly Bush – it was redolent with berries, just in time for Yuletide.
When I go out there, this huge Wood Pigeon sits there avoiding the thorns and snaffling up the berries.
It doesn’t care about me, it cares not for the thorns on the Holly Bush. I could reach it with my good arm and cook it for Yule. Obviously I would not do that.
But every time I try and snap it from above or from below, the Wood Pigeon gets in a terrible flap. Only in Oxford. The robins and the wrens here are tame. There’s Ivy out there, too. ♦
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Tagged berries, blackberries, Holly, Holly and the Ivy, Ivy, North Parade, Oxford, Robins, strawberries, wood pigeons, wrens, Yule
I FOUND the body of the little Robin fledgling in my back yard yesterday. I feel quite cut up about it.
The Robin family in the ivy haven’t lost everything – there’s at least two more little robinistic creatures flying around and cheeping the cheep that means: “Parents, bring food!”
I’m quite amazed that any fledglings make it at all. Imagine being shoved out of your house by your mum and dad who then say to you, “Now fly!”. And then they have to, or they die.
I WAS TRYING to work for TG Daily today but when I went out into my little back garden space a strange sight awaited me.
This little fledgling, probably a bit up more in intelligence than a bee, was gazing at me, wondering what was going to happen to it.
I hadn’t a clue myself – the Robin fledgling – and by the way the European Robin is way different from the American Robin – seemed to be dashing its brains in my little back area, trying to fledge.
The birds must just have fledged today. The parent were tirelessly and unceasingly trying to persuade the kids to flee the nest. Every time there was a little cheep, one of the parents came up with a tidbit to attempt to persuade it to fly.
Naturally a small mammal like me didn’t make things easier, crashing around as I did. I wish I’d videoed the sequence. Eventually the one trapped fledgling managed to get over the garden wall. But it won’t stop tweeting. Ah yes, Twitter. And twittering.
With a bit of luck, the Robin family will all fledge. There are few katz in this part of Oxford. The tigers were all killed by the ubergraduates.
Robins are way harder to rescue than bees, because relatively speaking they have higher intelligence. Probably more intelligence than humans. Must be tough to have been shoved out of the nest to make your own way in the world!
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Tagged Bangalore, bee, bees, honey bee, North Parade, Oxford, robin, Robins, Rose and Crown, tweeting, Twitter