Pigeon pies and dark skies

Last night it rained torrentially… the first proper downpour in weeks. It soaked the corners of the garden we don’t water and in the wet warmth everything seems to have grown inches taller overnight. Late in the day the sun managed to pierce the clouds but only briefly. The conditions meant fewer insects were on the wing, a few marmalade hoverflies and some garden bumblebees that, at times, were literally falling over each other collecting nectar. I watched one go into a poppy bloom and another flew in, and crawled over the first so it too could feast.

I’ve mentioned before the evocative call of wood pigeons, especially in the evenings by water. Maggie says that they say: “I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it, I didn’t do it, I” Most pigeons and doves seem to have calls that are easy to turn into memorable phrases.

Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus

We regularly get visits from three species, feral pigeons, collared-doves and wood pigeons and the former two are very confiding. Wood pigeons much less so. Maybe it’s because they are still shot in great numbers, or that they are least familiar with urban life. Wood Pigeons often feature in TV cooking programmes.

For whatever reason, this led me to having to photograph this through the kitchen window.

On the other hand, the young starlings are not wary at all. Inevitably, they have discovered all the ‘secret places’ Maggie puts meal worms for the thrush, blackbird and robin. They are not so much confiding as contemptuous, leaving calling cards on the pots, patio and garden furniture… every time I water the plants I have to wash away all the ‘bird lime’ they leave.

Rant it out!
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