Tag Archives: pigeons

Spring is Coming

You don’t have to take my word for it – look at the birds.

The Black-headed Gulls are regaining their black heads.

The idiots are also out in force. This prime example spotted the perfect spot to stand and ruin my shot. Then he moved a few feet away before coming back for another go.

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Idiotus Domesticus

Robins were singing in the dogwood hedges (Cynical note to self – Robins are always good for attracting likes).

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Robin and dogwood

And the ducks are looking in fine fettle for breeding.

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Finely fettled ducks

And finally – it’s clear what is on this pigeon’s mind, even if the object of his desire isn’t interested.

 

The Natural History of 6am

At this time of year 6am on a Sunday morning is a twilight world filled with strange sights and tinged with sadness. By the time it starts to be twilight you know that summer has passed and another long winter is about to start. Though time is passing more quickly as I get older, winter seems to last longer.

I can’t talk for other days, as I don’t regularly get up for that time on any other day. I would like to, as it seems an industrious thing to do, but I’m just too lazy. My father’s parents used to get up at 4.30 every morning, even when they were in their 80’s, but I haven’t inherited the urge to get up in the dark.

Julia has now been working at the Leisure Centre for around seven years, so I’ve had many chances to observe the Natural History of  that time.

We set off at around 5.40 to get to work for 6am. Other people who go to work at that time are mainly walking, with a few bicycles and cars around. A few people stand at bus stops, but they are early, as the buses don’t start until six. I always think of this when the government says that we should get out of our cars and use public transport. I would use public transport if it ran at the right times. And if I liked sharing a tin box with drunks and people who hold loud telephone conversations.

As people walk to work, wearing stout footwear and sensible clothing they meet a torrent of people wearing fashionable footwear and next to nothing else. I swear that the mascara worn by some of the women weighs more than their clothes. These are the people returning home from a night out.

Talk all you want about poverty and starvation, but there’s something about going to work as the revellers return home that really emphasises the unfairness of life.

For a closer view of the clubbers, you can often find them clustered in McDonalds at this time of the morning loudly discussing the banal details of their night out. At this point it is time to reflect that the more interesting members of the species have, in all probability, paired off and are involved in various mating rituals.

The birds are the other interesting Natural History element of the early morning. Blackbirds tend to be about at all times of the day or night and tend to behave as Blackbirds do at all time of the day. There’s something about a Blackbird’s body clock that seems to go 24 hours a day, whether in sunlight or the illumination of streetlights.

Pigeons stalk the city streets and the suburbs at this time of day, finding plenty of spilled food to eat. Often the spillage will be large enough to attract a sizeable flock. They don’t really pay a lot of attention to cars and natural selection plays its part here – ensuring that the less alert of the pigeons provides a snack for the crows, who always seem to be lurking. There were no Wood Pigeons or Magpies about this morning, but they are often seen too.

That, I feel, is enough. I’m off to the laundry now.

This, in case any children are reading, is what happens when you don’t work hard enough at school. People who worked hard at school tend to have the weekends off.

Weathering Wood, Bathing Pigeons and Diving Coots

As you can see from the Featured Image the sculpture is weathering and gaining some definition. It also appears to have gained an electric light, though I thought the park was closed at night.

Despite what I say about them our urban pigeons seem addicted to bathing. Julia saw some last week that were showering in the fountain outside the leisure centre.

This is a picture of a Coot diving – quite an energetic performance when you see it. Sadly, when it surfaced it did so just out of shot. Must try harder.

I’m feeling better now I’ve been out and seen some nature.