Friday, 15 July 2011

A Pigeon has landed

Shortly after my last posting the Curious Fish found a pigeon pecking around our garden path. Unlike the skittish things that haunt our local trees and chimney pots this one showed no interest in flapping off in a panic when we approached, it just moved out of the way and carried on pecking (Were Syd James and Barbara Windsor in that film?). On closer examination of the bird we realised it's markings were different and that it had a ring around one leg. It is indeed a beautiful (and calm) racing pigeon. Clearly exhausted or lost it had obviously decided to call in on the Curious Fish/Grasshopper residence for a break.
We found a few grains of corn in an old wild bird food bag and it tucked in happily, we prayed that it didn't become an evening meal for a local cat or one of the Peregrine Falcons which regularly patrol our skies and went off to bed fully expecting it to have continued its journey by the next morning.
Wrong!! the next morning it was still in residence and after a bit of flapping about (mainly by me) we caught it and were able to read its leg number. We then tried 118500 for pigeon help lines and after some false starts ended up with the number for the Royal Racing Pigeon Association. They informed us it was a Wednesbury bird
(Oh! thats the place next to IKEA on the M5/M6 interchange says I to myself as nobody listens to my drivel (the curious fish would undoubtedly disagree)... and nobody can call me geographically challenged!).
The Royal Racing Pigeon Association told us to feed it for a couple of days and then withdraw the feeding and shoo it away. So that is what we did.
Have you ever tried to shoo a pigeon which does not want to be shooed?.
We decided to 'harden our hearts' and continue not feeding it.
After five days with us (including it standing pathetically next to our patio table whist we were eating) it disappeared. Thirty six hours later it was back looking depressed (I really have no idea if pigeons suffer from depression?) and definitely in need of a feed. So we found a few bits of corn, peanuts and bread and it noshed away happily.
By this time I was convinced that this was either a very confused young bird or a bird more geographically challenged than myself  (or both). So the Curious Fish and I decided more positive action was needed. We needed to find out it's owner's telephone number if we could.
The Curious Fish trawled the internet for information and even had a couple of telephone conversations with the long suffering wife of a pigeon fancier in Derbyshire. This very helpful lady who seems to know quite a bit about pigeons by default informed the Curious Fish that many owners wrote their telephone numbers on the underside of the birds flight feathers?. Its up on the roof with its wings folded.!!
In the meantime I rang the Royal Pigeon association once again and after a bit of research they came up with the owners name and number. I was advised not to ring the owner until the bird was 'contained'. Oh heck!!
I found a box (six bottle French Merlot...empty of course) and hatched plans as to how I was going to catch a bird which was now happily ensconced on our garage roof. After much more flapping from me and the liberal use of food bribes, the bird was contained within the box and I duly rang the owners number. (Wednesday 13 July). I was told the owner was on holiday until Sunday 17th and that he would have to be rung on his holiday and that he would then ring me to discuss what to do. After several hours (and no call) we let the poor bird out of the Merlot Box, fed it and it once more took up residence on our Garage Roof.
Yesterday (14th) we needed more seed so we legged it to Sainsbury's. By the time we got back around teatime (and me £2.10p poorer and with a pain in my sporran) the blooming bird had flown. Hooray we said its finally flown home to Wednesbury (about thirty miles as the crow/pigeon flies). We hope its happily reunited with its siblings.

Stop press...About an hour ago it was back on the garage roof!!. I've fed it and now its gone again.
 I need a glass of red.

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