Friday, September 14, 2007


I heard some rustling in some dead autumn leaves, early this morning, in the pitch black, and was slightly confused.

A rat was my first guess, but that would have scarpered. A Blackbird** was my second guess, but as my mother will tell you, should you care to ask, a Blackbird will make FAR more noise.

So, I wandered over, phone (not camera) in hand, and slowwwwly, carefully..... took the rustler's photo. With a flash!

Well, I could just about make out the sad, individual bird's silhouette before taking the picture, but couldn't make out whether it was a Collared Dove, a Stock Dove or a Woodpigeon.

I know its not the first option after looking at the photo, and I know its a young pigeon or dove of sorts. An unfledged pigeon (less than 30 days old or so) could be called a "Squab", (as can a pigeon bred for eating). This looks like it has fledged. So maybe it isn't strictly a squab, but as it very clearly has not fledged particularly well, I'll call it a "Squab" anyway.

I would have said with some certainty that it is a young Woodpigeon (not old enough for its white collar yet), but for the fact I saw 2 adult Stock Doves in exactly the same place (the first I'd ever positively identified) here.

I have no idea what it is doing on the ground either. It looks in good shape. Its wings do not appear to be damaged. Its a mystery.

I hope to check on it again, sometime this morning....


** In my experience, if one is walking though woodland, and hears a rustle in some leaves nearby, 90% of the time (in this part of the world anyway), its a Blackbird or a Grey Squirrel. 10% of the time it's something else, and as for the other 12% - it's a very lost, confused statistician...

NB. (A little later). Pretty convinced this is a young Woodpigeon after seeing it in the daylight. In some distress I think, although I still know not why - it still looks in reasonable health to me...

Maybe a fox or rat will get it tonight...


electrichalibut said...

Round these parts if you hear a rustling in the hedgerow it's probably a furiously wanking tramp.

PS. Article in the Indy today about medieval food - apparently rooks are "perfectly disgusting". So I'll be looking forward to your report. I say curry them, it'll hide the taste.

The Black Rabbit said...

Yeah. I saw that.
May get down to the Rook Market tomorrow. On me tod though - Anna's gawn orf down to Kent to her ma's borthdee bash.
She didn't fancy trying rook anyway.

Anonymous said...

Rook pie is delicious. Your great grandparents liked it very much and during World War II lots of people ate it. How it compares with "four and twenty blackbirds" I don't know, but I can say it is good. I haven't eaten it for a long time and I am not sure if it is legal to eat rooks these days?

The Black Rabbit said...

I'm sure Rook pie is perfectly palatable ma! I didn't know my grandparents ate and liked it!

Who takes any notice of food critics anyway. They are devoid of any useful skill it seems!

Imagine their careers talk:
"So. Michael. What do you want to do when you leave school or college"?

"Not a lot really. I just want to criticise any work anybody else does"!


All this is irrelevant for the time being anyway. The farmers market was today. I went. They had no Rooks. So I got a Wabbit and a Pheasant poy instead!