I’m not an expert on birds.
I’m talking about the feathered variety, of course.
I know the difference between a robin and a wood pigeon and can even identify a heron at a pinch, but somehow I just never got around to identifying them all, let alone memorising their appearance or characteristics. I prefer to just watch them and admire them around the estate. Somehow I feel that labelling them or identifying them turns it into a scientific project rather than just admiring them for their songs and personalities.
I had a few bird feeders but they all got damaged over the years and I was down to just one this spring. It became a daily routine [or even sometimes twice daily] to go out and fill it with seed. The apple tree where it hung was often full of colourful little ones [Finches? Tits? Who cares – they were a delight]. They would queue up patiently on the branches waiting their turn to gorge themselves. Sometimes fights would break out, but not often.
Then the Jackdaws arrived. Now I know these fuckers as they’re the ones that persist in nesting in my chimney. They did it again this spring so once more I have the glorious anticipation of rodding the chimney and cleaning out the mess of twigs and branches they leave.
The Jackdaws saw my bird feeder as their own private domain and scared off all the wee ones. They then proceeded to attack the feeder and managed to break it. No more bird feeders.
When I was having the big tree felled there was some [expected] collateral damage. But there was a bird table that I moved out of harm’s way. That bird table must be about forty years old and at this stage it is more moss and rot than wood. No matter. I stuck it on the terrace outside Herself’s window. I started putting seeds out on the roof and the table. The wee birds weren’t that pushed about it; it was probably too close to the house for them.
It has however become a haunt of a pair of pigeons [at least I assume they are pigeons and not doves]. I put a fistful of seeds on the roof and a couple more fistfuls on the table itself. The pigeons arrive and happily gorge themselves, starting with clearing the roof before trying to work out where the stairs are to the lower table. They usually manage by flying in which requires careful timing and skill.
Yesterday one was filling himself [herself?] on the table when the other flew over to the window sill and stared in at us. He nodded and winked at us before flying back to the table.
It’s nice that they appreciate my efforts?