Sunday, January 06, 2008

Pigeons are not the only fruit

Up and away at the crack of 10:30 this morning. Of course I wouldn't have been so tired if Diane hadn't come back home drunk at 3 am and then woken me up to ask if the kids were asleep. How would I know... I thought they were with her... :-O Then we had to go find the kids - huddled in the dishwasher, again! At least they were nice and clean. And lemon scented. It's all go in our house.

Twas quite a nice day, sunny and everything. Remembirded a trio of Great Tits chasing through the bushes at St Ann's emitting an unusual range of squeaks, peeps and churrs, when a Coal Tit emerged soaking from the Elsick Burn and tried to dry off in the sunshine.

Mill Garden was quiet, but I looked over to the flock of Feral Pigeons on wires at the house on Cran Hill. They scattered as a Peregrine Falcon buzzed them fast and low, and as I was watching it hit a rather pretty white pigeon and sent its primary feathers scattering on the wind. Mmmm... thought I, because it all looked so arty an picturesque with white feathers floating and spinning in the bright sunshine against the blue shy - quite a trippy effect. The the Peregrine circled round, and cool-as-feck went through the flock again and picked out the spinning white bird with a casual flick of the leg, and carried it off. For a few seconds I watched this three-winged Peregrine flying off into the sun (one of the Pigeon's wings was still flapping like mad), until they disappeared over the brow of the hill. Of course, once that had happened, all the other Pigeons could sit down and relax on the wires, making chat.
'He killed Kenny, the b******!
'Watching the footie later?'
'Nah. Fancy a fag?'
'Sh**! Kenny had the fags.'
[In unison, shaking their wings at the sky in the general direction of the peregrine]
'You b******!'

10 Ruddy Turnstones down on the beach, and the Common Redshank. Also 2 Common Eiders in the bay, the male being the only genuinely green/grey billed individual I've seen for some time. I went for a look offshore, which was a bit boring, except there was anotherTurnstone hopping around the rocks at my feet - even my 7 x 42s couldn't focus that close. There were several Common (Mew) Gulls far offshore, and a single Black-legged Kittiwake. Eventually I got 3 Long-tailed Ducks going north, a Razorbill south and a Red-throated Diver feeding close in. Otherwise I was staring out at a wide empty sea. Also an Atlantic Grey Seal, in the sea, and 2 distant Harbour Porpoises. Funny, but since New Year I was feeling a bit flat, but now I feel like I've got a porpoise in life again. Stop me now before I steal a joke from Black Adder III about the story of the Prince and the Porpoise.

Oh, what else - the long-staying (1 week) female Great Spotted Woodpecker was still on feeders at The Retreat. Am I keeping a patch year list in 2008? I dunno, but if I am, I'm glad to have that one under my belt in my treeless desert.

I thought this was an interesting effect, though failed to capture its glory... sunlight on rain and wind-flattened grass.

1 comment:

Camera Trap Codger said...

Great observation for such a late start, and I'm still chuckling about the "pige talk".