Monday 15 February 2010

Flocks Of Pigeons At Barleycorn

Frozen Pond

As, in so many other parts of the countryside, we are continuing to have freezing temperatures, which create beautiful winter scenes. Although our ponds are beginning to thaw, we still have an avalanche of pristine snow, which slithered off the high-pitched roof of our outhouse bringing down tall shrubs in its wake.

Winter Sunset

Each season offers its own joy and, none more so than, a glorious Winter sunset at the close of a crisp, frosty day. What better way to end these shivering days than by coming indoors for a bowl of home-made soup, and curling up afterwards on the sofa with a good book? That is often the time when I drool over garden catalogues and make plans for the coming season.

Flock Of Pigeons

For the past month, as the snow has receded, we have been watching hundreds of pigeons foraging amongst the left-over grain in the field behind Barleycorn. On most days we have observed flock upon flock joining together till they form a large cloud and begin wheeling overhead before, eventually, settling down together for safety.

Pigeons Behind The Weathervane At Barleycorn

Suddenly, without warning, they will take to the air, making a loud commotion, and circle the field for a long time before landing again. If we are sharp-eyed, we might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a Sparrowhawk chasing after one of them. When it makes a kill, the pigeons fly off, while the Sparrowhawk begins to de-feather its prey.

Female Sparrowhawk On A Silver Birch Tree

Due to the large numbers of pigeons and smaller birds searching for food during this exceptionally cold Winter, we have been fortunate enough to see the Sparrowhawk on several days each week. However, if she catches sight of us, she is off and out of sight as quickly as she appeared.

Blue Tits At The Weathervane Feeder

When we participated in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch earlier this month, they were astounded when we recorded the numbers of pigeons we were observing until we filled in further information explaining that our garden overlooked a field.

First Snowdrops At Barleycorn

Isn't Nature wonderful? No matter how many degrees below freezing they have endured, no matter how prolonged the snowy blanket under which they lay, the sturdy snowdrops - with their small green bodices, their ballet gowns and heads like fallen drops of snow - have survived all that Winter has thrown at them and come through triumphantly. Does that not make your heart sing and leap for joy?

In my little video called Flocks Of Pigeons, the accompanying music is Track 17 from my CD called A Garden Of Music. Most of the birds are pigeons with some starlings, jackdaws and crows for company.