Pigeons in the Wood

WOOD PIGEONS have been gathering in the treetops – about a hundred of them fly up over the wood on this cold and misty morning. Their regular foraging in the fields has been first snow-covered then frozen solid this week. We’ve got a book delivery to make today and we feel glad that we didn’t have to set out yesterday when we pass a car, which must have skidded on the ice, being towed out of a hedge. Casualty departments were 40 to 50% busier after the freezing rain.

After feeding on sunflower hearts around our bird feeders, the Pheasants often pause to nibble the leaves of broccoli in our cabbage patch as they walk down the garden path back towards the meadow and the wood.

A Heron, looking rather fed up, sits hunched on a perch for an hour or more on a branch of one of the Crack Willows by the stream. It appears to be undisturbed by any dog walkers who may be passing by below.

Voles, Moles and Unwelcome Guests

There are vole holes in the lawn and mole-hills in the flower border near the bird table but the burrow that I’m not so keen to see is one that leads from under a paving slab straight under the plastic compost bin. I can see that the chopped end of an onion has been dragged down from the bin. I want to recycle all our vegetable peelings but we can’t control which creatures are attracted to nibble them. I think that the answer is to re-think the way we compost anything that is potentially edible and relocate our plastic compost bins, currently behind the shed, to the main wooden compost bins at the end of the garden beyond the greenhouse. We never put any cooked food on the compost heap but then, being brought up in the Yorkshire tradition of thrift, we contribute virtually nothing to the estimated 7.2 million tons of food thrown out each year by households in the United Kingdom. It has been estimated that the average family with children throws out about £680 of food each year.

Ivy Berries

This evening two Wood Pigeons fly down to eat berries on the mass of Ivy that grows over our neighbour’s fence. A male Blackbird also tucks into this seasonal supply.

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