Thursday, 12 April 2012

Would Wood Pigeons?

Attached to the back wall of Much Malarkey Manor is a security light. You know, one of those jobbies that detects movement in your garden and automatically lights up the whole area like Wembley Arena when Take That are in town.

Only mostly it is switched off because it startles us, and is used only in rare emergencies like finding lost chickens and midnight gardening. ('Isn't that a book?' says Mrs Pumphrey. 'Not quite,' I say. 'Stupid title,' says Mrs P. 'Yes,' I say. 'Not as good as 'Travels in My Pants,' says Mrs P. 'Absolutely,' I say.)

So the security light, which was attached to the house when we arrived, is largely redundant. We have our own form of security to deal with unwanted garden visitors. Mainly lumps of bricks and bowls of old washing up water. A redundant light, therefore, until a couple of weeks ago. Because a couple of weeks ago, the security light was taken over by a pair of wood pigeons.

I am assuming the wood pigeons are a pair consisting of lady wood pigeon and man wood pigeon because there is a lot of billing and cooing going on and Andy says he has seen evidence that one is definitely a man wood pigeon though he wouldn't go into exact detail, but I trust him because he is a vet and should know about these things.

And one is slightly smaller than the other and as I write they have both flown down from the security light and are sitting on the fence 'twixt us and next door. Oh no, one has just flown back up to the security light. (Blogging in action! How cutting edge is THAT??)

Now, I don't mind having a pair of wood pigeons take up residence here at MMM; they seem friendly enough and they potter around the garden sometimes and look very decorative. But what does concern me is that they have attempted to build a nest ON the security light and it is all looking very precarious.

When I say 'nest' what I really mean is five pieces of straw and a twig artistically arranged in the style of a nest. I don't want you to be getting visions of glorious fluffiness, sturdiness and all-round 'here is a safe and secure place to lay eggs and raise baby wood pigeons -ness.' From this scant effort I can only assume that the wood pigeons are a young couple and this is their first nest building experience and what with the economy being as it is at the mo, they couldn't get a bigger mortgage to splash out on something more, well, nesty.

The 'nest' is sheltered in that the light upon which it rests is tucked up under the guttering. It's on a south-east facing wall so probably gets quite warm and certainly gets lots of light for most of the day. And it provides a good vista for the surveillance of any approaching cats, kestrels and eagles. But it is still five pieces of straw and a twig.

I don't know. Maybe wood pigeons are master egg balancers, like puffins who nest on cliff faces. Maybe they are planning to add more bits of straw and twiggage this weekend, because last weekend was quite foul on the weather front and certainly not good nest- building weather. Maybe they are going to build hammocks and hang them from the security light in an attempt at wood pigeon retro-chic. Maybe I should hang a hammock up there in an attempt to catch any eggs that might make a suddenly downward rush for the ground...

'...maybe you should just hush up and help me plan the route for my Grand Lady Adventure?' says Mrs Pumphrey.
'Still going ahead with it then?' I say.
'Absolutely,' says Mrs P. 'Lady Clementine was very helpful with her advice. No go with the loan of a camel though.'
'Oh,' I say. 'What are you going to do for transport?'
'I have a friend called Mr Jobble,' says Mrs P.
'Like you do,' I say.
'And he is going to lend me his tricycle,' says Mrs Pumphrey. 'It's got a pannier on the front.'
'Perfect,' I say.
'You'll get far more excitement tracking me on my travels than watching a pair of stupid pigeons,' says Mrs Pumphrey.
'Yes,' I say, 'for I don't expect wood pigeons would know how to ride a tricycle, would they?'
''Oh, they would know how to ride a tricycle all right,' says Mrs P. 'It's just that wood pigeons wouldn't.'

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