Bird Watching in Deepest West Sussex From David Cole

Date: 2013-06-07 13:13:42 | Category: Twootz News | Author: David Cole
It is all a question of live and let live as far as the Wood Pigeons go.

Their annual foray into the large trees at the edge of the garden always coincides with the thrusting through of the first vegetable garden seedlings.

Wood Pigeons By David Cole

Your average courting Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus – also called Woodpigeon without the hyphen) has a voracious appetite and they will completely destroy the gardener’s hard work in a quick morning visit.

A friend, who is a keen exhibitor at the local Flower and Vegetable Show has no patience with them at all – “Flying vermin” he calls them, and at the first sign of a few scruffy sticks thrust into the branches of a nearby tree he is out with a probably totally illegal long pole on what he calls a “Discouragement visit”.

We tend to try a damage limitation exercise with branches of birch trimmings laid over the sensitive new green spikes – I’m told this works with cats as a deterrent, but our two Springer sisters would probably have the same effect. The dogs are banned from the vegetable garden as they would do more damage chasing one of the grey invaders.

Wood Pigeons By David Cole

So we enjoy the gentle cooing and laugh at the amateur attempts at the first nest from the younger birds, and chase off any persistent visitors when we see them.

Fledglings are everywhere at the moment with a family of Greenfinches (Carduelis chloris) investigating the bird feeding station at the front of the house as a family group – they of course enjoy the mixed seed in the feeders – spilling a fair amount for the other birds on the ground.