The Friendly Feral Pigeon

I’m going to start off with something very un-glamorous today but something I find fascinating all the same. Let me introduce you to our most recognizable individual garden visitor, our feral pigeon:


More often than not this individual can be seen with a woodpigeon. I did wonder if they could be breeding partners but it seems this is unlikely. Woodpigeons have long been recorded as being in groups with other members of the pigeon family such as collared doves. Here the feral pigeon is fulfilling that same role.

I’m intrigued to where this individual came from. There are plenty of pigeons in the town centre, as there are in all British towns, but in our suburban estate and the surrounding countryside you just don’t see them. This same bird has been coming to the garden for around two years now and is somewhat cleaner and healthier than its relatives in the town. It’s the only one I’ve ever seen in the area and I’d love to know how it ended up here and how it only spends time with woodpigeons rather than any of its closer relatives.

This week I had to do my yearly rescue of a juvenile starling. Out of the probably hundreds of local juvenile starlings around one a year ends up flying into one our windows. There was a clonk on glass and I went outside to find the bird lying on the patio. It looked dead initially but after a few minutes it gradually regained consciousness. I carefully moved it to safety so it wouldn’t be found by our cats and it soon flew to safety.

A bird I’ve wanted to share with you for a little while is the great-crested grebe on the local fishing lake. There’s usually a pair and I have seen them doing their amazing bowing heads mating routine in the past. It seems though there is only one bird this year and I’ve finally seen it close enough to get a photo (and even then it wasn’t that close).


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The Brownsea Island Lagoon Camera (see here) is interesting at the moment. The colony of sandwich terns is now full of young birds which are constantly demanding food. It’s a real hive of activity and with so many birds in close proximity there’s a huge range of behaviour happening in every area of the shot.

Brownsea Island 25.6.16 JPG

I’ve seen the foxes in my work car park a few times recently.


There are a pair of foxes that live somewhere in the bushes near the car park. It’s quite difficult to tell the difference between male and female foxes but I think this one is the female (it’s a little smaller and has a shorter snout). Usually I see the male fox in this position so Friday’s spot was a little unusual. I am still hoping to see some cubs at some point (now is the best time of year to see them apparently so fingers crossed).

To end today, here’s a red admiral butterfly I spotted earlier in an unusual pose.


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