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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Miserable Old Git

When I go to the supermarket I take the remnants of a loaf to feed to the birds in the supermarket car park, then I buy some more in the supermarket to give them an extra treat when I come out. Recently I have been disappointed by how few starlings there were, and I put it down to two things: the presence of a lot of crows; and the failure of our migrating birds to return. Our populations are different in winter and in summer. Our winter birds fly away further north, and birds from further south come to breed here. Starlings are thought of as common and ordinary, but they are really striking:

They are positively iridescent. But their babies, which have been out of the nest for a couple of weeks, remain drab brown for some time:

Many of you will have seen amazing film of starlings flocking together at dusk to land in their thousands at their chosen roost site. This is called a murmuration of starlings, which is weird, 'cos they do anything but murmur!

As I started my shopping trip, we were back to having lots of starlings congregating for some free food. Lots of babies were among them. I was delighted. When I came out, I started to feed them some more bread (only wholemeal will do, got to give them their protein!) trying hard to keep them away from the road. Suddenly an old man got out of his car and started berating me. "Don't you know that's illegal?" he said. Well, it isn't, and I told him so. "Well they shit all over the cars." And our cars shit all over their environment. He didn't like that. He denied it. Well, we build all over their territory, I said. "No we don't." I laughed and swept my arm round to indicate the acres of concrete car park. But he wouldn't understand. So I just told him to shut up and mind his own business. If we are to continue having these murmurations, we need to protect these wonderful little birds. The planet has too many people. Especially people like that crabby old sod.


judith said...

Please don't think me horrid but I laughed at that...I mean the old man was a prick was'nt he..We have built all over their space but man has been doing that since he appeared on the planet.
I watched the other night the prog. about the London streets.The foxes coming into the towns and other animals too..It was fasinating and shows how an animal can adapt.

Eliza said...

Good for you, telling that idiot to mind his own business! I think, in some places, people are discouraged from feeding pigeons, but never starlings. I've seen footage of the flights before and they never fail to take my breath away

Sandy said...

The blackbirds poop all over my house, windmill ornament in the front yard, my swing, my driveway and my car if I leave it out of the garage, and I don't feed them, but they are only around for a couple weeks, then move on and we can enjoy the robins, and a few bluebirds that we are lucky enough to see. Anyway they are all God's creatures,even tho you may not believe in a higher being....I'm glad you told the old geezer to buzz off or "fly away".LOL

JoJo said...

I saw a murmuration once and I never forgot it. It's stayed w/ me my whole life b/c it was that incredible. I remember going outside in my jammies and standing on the front lawn, transfixed as they did it over and over on the telephone and electric wires across the street. They were doing it right there, so close to me, above the street and around by the cranberry bog then they'd land on the wires again and do it over and over. It wasn't a huge amount of birds, Maybe 50-75, but enough for that small area. I was probably 10.

vikeau said...

val good for you. The only time I get upset is when a bird actually poops on me, but people keep telling me that's good luck. So I play the lottery. Oh well still working.

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