Shit Chickens

During lockdown we started spending a lot more time in the garden, there was nothing else to do. Then you do a little bit of work in it sorting things out, and then a bit more. It’s taken a bit of effort but it’s really nice to sit out there now. Spending the time in the garden you get to see what lives there and what visits. All kinds of birds and animals. We are on the border of farmland at the coast so it’s really nice. On our estate there are a lot of Wood Pigeons. I knew little about them. Distinctive call – which can be annoying early in the morning. But they’re okay birds. The country bumpkin of the Pigeon world. Taste quite good as well 🙂

During lockdown we had a pair of Wood Pigeons that hung around the garden. Herself loves nature so named them Pidge (Him) and Podge (Her). I learned that Wood Pigeons are love birds. They mate for life – when their mate dies they actually grieve. Which got a loud ‘AWWWWwww!’ from Herself when I read it out loud.

(This is giving a great overview of how boring lockdown was and how it turned us into mad bird people)

Podge was always the clever one and it’d get to the stage where she’d wait outside the Pantry door for Herself or Myself to fetch some seed to chuck on the lawn. Herself thought this was too adorable. Anyway a year went by and it wouldn’t be uncommon for one of us to say “Howya Podge? Want some dinner?”. Herself could spot Podge because she apparently had a little bit of a bent beak. To me they were just a couple of Wood Pigeons, I knew Podge only because she wouldn’t run away. She’d let me walk past her to hang washing out, or if I’d be weeding or something I’d have to say “Move yer arse Podge I need to get past” and she’d waddle out of the way. When I was sat at the table outside she’d wander past quite happily – with Herself saying “Lift your feet Podge wants to get past”.

I would still call them ‘Shit Chickens’ which would get me a scolding. But they are. Loud, just wander about and you don’t even get eggs from them – so it made sense to me. But they made Herself happy.

We went on holiday to Italy in January. Got back and noticed that Podge was alone. Our neighbour said he had to scrape up the remains of a Pigeon from his garden. We reckoned that was Pidge. He was never very clever. Fox, Bird of Prey, Crow, idiot house cat without a bell. Could be any number of ways he met his end.

Anyway, Herself was a bit upset about it and Podge got extra seed. She was alone now.

We went off to Italy again in June. When we got back this time, a couple of other Pigeons were hanging around the garden. Long story short – seems that Podge got chased off a bit while we were away. Territory. That’s the way nature works, she was outnumbered. But with us back she’d quite happily eat the seed and the other Pigeons wouldn’t land and bother her because we were there. But she kept getting into fights. Would return to the garden with a bad limp. Fair play to her – she fought for her territory alone.

The other week we had to head south for a wedding. In the days before that Podge had been in the garden as usual – but hiding in the borders with a really bad limp. Seems to me she was resting up for the day in the safety of our garden – and then heading out in the evening. It didn’t look good though.

We’ve been back a week and a bit now. No sign of Podge. She has been off on little adventures before, but not this long.

It’s a wild bird. It’s nature. They’re shit chickens! But…I miss that silly little bent beaked bird.