Anyone who is reading this blog to find out what is going ornithologically in the Kingsdown area should switch off now. Today’s little missive is only about pigeons and fulmars.
Feral pigeons are a pest, they try to nest any and everywhere and a when they do foul the place horribly. Well we humans are not the only ones suffering at their wings.
A pair of fulmars at Kingsdown thought they had found a nice hole to call home - quite low down on the cliffs and right beside the recent rock fall. Mrs Fulmar was quite happy to sit there looking out over the channel then along came a pair of pigeons and ruined everything. I first saw them trying to oust her from her dream home on Saturday and they were still at it on Sunday morning.
My attention was drawn to the evolving situation by the near continuous calling from the cliff face by Mrs Fulmar – she was sitting there with the two pigeons just above her:
|"Where's that bloody husband when you need him"|
Eventually Mr Fulmar returned to his damsel in distress and tried to scare the pigeons off. His first attempt was to land on the cliff face between the pigeons and Mrs fulmar and just call but pigeons are not put off that easily – they did move away from the mouth of the hole but only by a few feet.
Mrs Fulmar was very impressed with these early efforts though because she came out to the edge of the hole to watch her hero in action......
|"He's so wonderful and brave"|
He then decided to drive home his attack and waddled slowly along the ledge towards them, calling as he went. The outcome of this was somewhere between a partial success and total failure. The successful bit was when one of the pigeons took to the air, the failure was it landed back by the hole and in the space he had just vacated. Cunning buggers these pigeons.
|Attack, attack, attack.|
He continued towards the remaining pigeon who retreated further along the ledge but Mr Fulmar didn’t drive home his attack and turned back to concentrate on the one nearer the hole. He enjoyed a little more success with this one as it took to the air but it only went as far as it’s mate...... so back to square 1.
Eventually Mr Fulmar tired of all this harassment (after all it was Sunday) and flew off leaving Mrs Fulmar to it. I too wandered off to check whether any wheatears or black redstarts were in residence (they weren’t) and when I returned the situation was back to how it was when I first found them – Mrs Fulmar being driven to distraction by 2 pigeons trying to evict her.
|"Give me strength"|
There you have it. Exciting stuff what?
Spring Watch had better watch out – Cliff Watch at Kingsdown is waiting in the wings.