Battling with pigeons: Nick’s lockdown diaries
Over previous weeks, I have waxed lyrical about the Robins nesting next to the kitchen door, taming them to eat from my hands and watching them raise and fledge their chicks.
More recently, a pair of Blue Tits took up residence in the House Sparrow box fixed to the side of the house.
During the lockdown period, it has been great to see these birds and other wildlife in the garden and on my daily walk.
It might sound a bit hypocritical of me, but I am now spending time trying to discourage a certain bird from nesting close to our home.
There are an estimated 2.5 million Wood Pigeons in the UK, and two of them have decided to build their nest in the Climbing Hydrangea that covers the back of our house.
I have nothing against Wood Pidgeons; if you look at them closely they are very colourful birds, and while their song isn’t as melodic as some of our common garden birds, it can be quite relaxing to hear.
However, as much as I like birds, these “critters” are very messy indeed!!
They knock a lot of debris onto the ground, and their droppings are large and very messy!!
Seven times today, I have got up from the keyboard to go outside and shout at them!! My neighbours must think I am going mad.
They have started to bring twigs to their chosen nest site to construct their nest.
Twice today I have used the end of a wooden pole to knock it down.
I want to do this before they lay any eggs. After all, at that point, I will have to concede defeat because I wouldn’t want to harm them in any way.
Anyway, it’s not legal to kill these birds without a general licence which is only available if all other non-lethal actions have failed to work.
It’s not like there aren’t any other places for them to nest; they are not particularly fussy.
Last year a pair nested and raised their young in the low branches of a tree right in the middle of the village. They were nesting close enough to the ground for a person to reach up and touch them.
So as fond as I am of birds nesting in the garden, I am not fond of Wood Pigeons.
On a brighter note, I have seen a Dunnock regularly in the garden, and I suspect they may well be nesting in a bush at the quieter side of the house. We shall see!