Spring is sprung, as are the pigeons


Every morning at first light without fail, – tap, tap, tap, on the Perspex window above the front door.

At first it was a welcome harbinger of spring, but the novelty soon wore off and it drifted into the realms of a dripping tap.

What was behind this unwanted alarm clock which was set too early? It was simply our local resident cock chaffinch, seeing his reflection in the window and thinking it was a rival male encroaching on his patch, as the breeding season approaches.

I think this is the third year he has become the neighbourhood nuisance and not only does he attack our window but he also attacks his reflected image in all the car wing mirrors along the street.

I remembered some years ago having a similar problem with a dopey dunnock who spent all day throwing himself at the shed window.

Fearing for his welfare, as he spent all his time at this pointless pastime and neglected to feed himself, I decided to take action. The remedy was simple. I taped a sheet of white paper to the inside of the window which eliminated his reflection and he stopped immediately.

I applied the same technique to the window above the door and so far it has provided uninterrupted sleep. The little white deposits down the car doors however, remain!

Activity in the bird world in general is increasing daily as nesting time approaches. My garden nest box is receiving daily visits from a pair of blue tits. There’s no sign of nesting material going in yet as they are still at the viewing stage.

To help them along, I have starting putting out the combings from the dog, which will make a nice cosy lining for whoever wants to come and get them. I must remember to keep checking the box for signs of wasps, as in previous years they have moved in and kept out the birds.

Most of the resident species are paired off or are engaged in some sort of display to attract a mate. I watched a comical display last week provided by a pair of plump wood pigeons sitting side by side on a fence. They would take it in turn to jump straight up in the air, each trying to outdo the other.

Several people have reported hearing the first singing chiffchaffs during the fine weather at the weekend, so things really seem to be heading in the right direction.