Sunday, 22 July 2012

birds exit -stage left

warm and sunny today, all the sash windows open to the narrow cobbled street, birds tweeting out their summer song and a bunch of gulls circling a tall derelict building nearby, as if it was a true cliff!

 Birds, dear birds, seagulls even, though so far from the sea you're having a laugh, this is a derelict building not the white cliffs of Dover! What has possessed you to nest up here, and more to the point why do you have to circle and scream at 5am every morning, Sundown I get or even perhaps mid-afternoon, but please shut your beaks at 5am! 

Now I know they are no longer called seagulls, because they've migrated inland to ploughed fields and school playing fields, there being no fish left in the sea to catch, but they are still a rude species called Larus Argentatus. Here they sit atop a building in the middle of a city miles even from a farmers tractor or a groundsman's mower, let alone needing a telescope to see the sea, even from up there. The daughter fell over laughing at the prospect of seagulls using telescopes to find their way back to the sea. These birds seem to be the avian version of a couch potato, nipping into city bins for an early bite rather than braving the waves far away, for an ever decreasing supply of minnows, (have you felt that sea temperature lately-is it surprising?)

  Perhaps they're pretending to be city flying rats or pigeons, nasty creatures clinging to old buildings despite netting and rows of spikes, spreading their acid guano on statues and ancient walls. Those in my city have got the most terrible feet! Yes FEET, ever seen a pigeon with a foot and a stump, its a gross sight and still they limp around the tourists begging for chips and cast off burgers! I cannot see the point of these birds, they have no natural diet in a city, eating corn that  batty old ladies leave out in piles. Perhaps they too should move along out of the city...the pigeons not the old ladies...

And talking of birds in wrong places, having woken with the dawn chorus of gulls-on-roofs what did I find but two giant purple wood pigeons raiding the garden bird feeder, seed level visibly dropping as they gobbled. Small robins, even blackbirds waited anxiously on the wall top for these behemoths to fill up and leave. 
Who told them this was a 'wood'? Yes there is a tree, just one, but also lots of walls and houses, car parks and yes derelict 'clifftops' .... but they return every morning and while they shovel seed down their beaks at a rate of knots 'other 'birds' may starve' (ref Izzard)  because I'd have to stop putting seed out at all-ever- to discourage them. Maybe if I am sneaky and supply food for the less wrongly placed birds, only at ground level, wood pigeons might go elsewhere, as they need a large take off and landing space.

 Maybe they could join the gulls in the next building, go raiding city bins,  wouldn't add to the dawn chorus as these woodies are silent thieves, they really think I don't know what they're up to...
'move along wood pigeons, nothing for you here, go back to your woods...'

I suppose we should consider these 'migrations' as adaptations, but they are turning into raucous, thieving, Quasimodo modifications that I do not appreciate... and just where have all the starlings gone.....

cue for a song and an exit

1 comment:

  1. Very entertaining and don't get me started on old ladies and pigeons and yes the old bloody ladies should move out to the country too.

    Are your wood pigeons mute ours are as raucous as your gulls down here in Essex and we have a wood not 30 feet from the front door.

    Then there are the dozens of screeching tropical birds, not parrots, who inhabit the woods too screeching at each other and anything else that comes in range of them

    Barking squirrels kamikaze-ing the bird feeders that we try to put out of reach

    We're being over run I tell you over run