For some time now I have cut back on filling the feeders with seed. It is so expensive and most of it is gobbled up by Jackdaws which have worked out how to cling to the feeders whilst driving everything else off in the process. This is not what I had in mind
Walking around Chipping Norton Market the other day I weakened and bought a kilo of seed and some peanuts from a stall as a treat for my garden birds not withstanding the Jackdaws
Soon the refilled feeder was festooned with House Sparrows, Chaffinches, Greenfinches, various tits and even a Robin making the most of my generosity. Thankfully the Jackdaws seem to have forgotten.The inevitable spillage of seed onto the ground soon attracted some Woodpigeons and also making a welcome return, a Stock Dove. I have not seen one for quite some time in the garden but here it was.
They breed in the large Victorian House at the end of our drive and indeed one year bred in one of our chimneys. Their monotonous crooning regularly echoed down to the inglenook fireplace in our living room.
I watched the Stock Dove from our kitchen window and yet again was struck by its understated beauty. No full frontal riot of exotic colours as one can find in a male Common Pheasant but a pleasing shade of dark grey with a subtle almost emerald green neck patch and the most delicate pinkish purple wash to its breast.
It is very wary and the slightest movement causes it to fly off but it always comes back. Its welcome return has persuaded me to invest in more seed so I can savour its hopefully regular presence in our garden once again.