Woodpecker

great spotted woodpecker

Great Spotted Woodpecker

I love to see birds in my garden and especially at the feeders, which I can clearly see through my kitchen window, and since I do most of my computing at the kitchen table I do take frequent glances outside.

Over the past years there has always been lots of pigeons monopolizing the feeders and keeping all but the bravest of small birds at bay. But over recent months I have noticed something of a change. There seems to be far fewer pigeons about. Instead of the usual 8 or 10 at a time we seem to be down to only one or two, maybe three, at less frequent intervals. Pigeons are a bit of a nuisance and, yes, I have often said that we have far too many; but I don’t dislike the birds and would not like them to disappear altogether. I can’t help wondering if the steady increase in birds of prey in the area is to blame. I often see buzzards circling around and have also seen peregrine falcons on occasions, which are known to catch pigeons and other birds in flight. I have also come across complete bundles of feathers on the ground which could not possibly have been left by a cat for example. We no longer have a cat, but even when we did there was no way she would tackle a pigeon!

Nuthatch

Nuthatch

On the plus side, the reduction in the pigeon population has allowed far more of our small garden birds to visit the feeders. As well as the usual blue-tits, coal-tits, great-tits, long-tailed-tits, robins, sparrows and various finches that have ventured in when the pigeons are around, we have been visited this year, since the pigeon’s decline, by several nuthatches – the first time that I have ever noticed them in our garden. They are a joy to watch. Blackbirds are also regulars but there seems to be an increase in thrushes as well, and particularly I have noticed redwing thrushes feasting on the Pyracantha berries against the fence this year, having been noticeably absent for a couple of years.

Starlings had been gradually increasing too, a nuisance in some areas and considered pests where I grew up, I hardly ever saw them here until a few years ago and gradually we saw a few more, but never more than half a dozen or so. Now they have now disappeared again and I wonder why.

However there is one bird I have never seen in my garden before, though I know other people outside my immediate area who do have them regularly, and that is a Great Spotted Woodpecker. What a wonderful surprise to see one, a female, fly in to our feeders. Just the one, just the once – so far; at least when I have been looking. Perhaps with this spell of cold weather we have been having she will become a more frequent visitor, then perhaps I may get my own photo instead of sharing the one above which, along with the picture of the Nuthatch, I found on the Internet!

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Perch

First post in place
for the new garden fence.
It doesn’t take the pigeons long
to find a new perch!

Bedraggled

Bedraggled pigeons, ragged
yet unconcerned in the rain,
squabble over the bird feeders.

Lined Up

Pigeons lined up
along the branches,
waiting for me
to fill the feeders.

Wings

Preening and fluffing
their feathers,
stretching alternate wings
into the rain;
pigeons on the fence
taking a shower.

Bedraggled

Yesterday bedraggled pigeons
visited the feeders.
Today they come,
feathers fluffed and dried
in the sun.

Seagulls

Seagulls plaintive cries,
raucous, so unlike the soft
cooing of pigeons.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I often like to link my Small Stones to my Elfje. You will find an Elfje related to this Haiku today at Simply Elfje.

Crumbs

Birds peck at the fat balls
making crumbs fall.
A waddling pigeon below
gobbles them all.

Kiss and Make Up

On the branch,
side by side again,
two pigeons kiss and make up.

Single-Seaters

Two branches,
two pigeons seated —
one above the other.

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