Monday, 26 January 2009

Mystery Attacker Bumps off Pigeon





Mystery Attacker Bumps off Pigeon

Sometimes bad luck takes more than one form and what is mild irritation for one, turns up as catastrophe for another, as in the case the unwary wood pigeon, tempted by the peanuts in my garden. For this unlucky bird, bad luck took the form of the bolt from the blue. Well I think it did but I can’t be sure, you see, I didn’t see it any more than the pigeon did.
Not very clear? I’ll explain. Last Saturday was the RSPB bird count day. In my case this entailed an hour at the upstairs bedroom window, cat firmly by my side, peering out at a laden bird table.
The usual everyday stuff flutters in, a handful of chaffinches, the customary squabbling greenfinches, and then five, or was it six, long tailed tits dash past, nothing to excite the rabid twitcher. The only rarer visitors are a pair of brambling overwintering in the plum tree, and a rather cocky bull finch.
Forty five minutes into the bird watch and I’m getting bored, with nothing in the garden now except three obese woodpigeons, plumped to perfection on the last few greens left in the vegetable patch. Normally their appearance would have me running up the garden waving my arms, but I let them be, and tick them off on my list.
A quick cup of tea is what I need. Stopping the timer I dash down to the kitchen. I swear I was gone for just a few minutes, but back to my post I find a completely empty garden, the only evidence that any birds have ever visited, a pile of pale grey feathers neatly ringing the bird table, one or two still drifting softly in mid air.
And I missed it. Some great big bird of prey snaffled one of the woodpigeons and I wasn’t there. The only bit of avian excitement since I saw the chiff chaff last summer and I was out of the room. How do I know it was a bird of prey? Well for once the cat had an alibi, and on close examination, many of the feathers had definite beak shaped chunks torn out.
Perhaps I should have ticked off eagle after all, but we don’t get many in West Sussex, and there’s the further quandary, should I enter two woodpigeons or three?

6 comments:

elizabethm said...

Oh wow! How annoying to have missed it. We have had a huge buzzard sitting only feet away from the house on a number of days but did it show on Sunday? course not. I think you could count three!

Arosebyanyothername said...

It could have been a Goshawk. They prey on pigeons. They took two of my son's chickens recently as I mentioned in a post somewhere. It is a pity you missed it - at the very least it would have been a bit of excitement!

ChrisH said...

Nooo! I would have been so annoyed to have sat all that time and missed the action (sorry, pigeon - but there you are). But well done you for taking part.

muddyboots said...

now it's strange, l sat down to count the birds in our garden on sunday too. normally there are plenty of birds. this Sunday none showed up. However, they returned this morning in force. Do they know something perhaps?

LittleBrownDog said...

A neighbour with an air rifle perhaps? Must have been quite a corker to pick off a wood pigeon. What a pity you missed all the action.

Cait O'Connor said...

Oh what a shame, poor pigeon. I owuld count him in though.