Woodpigeons again

4th November 2009, Wednesday


Back on the Bernard Ince memorial bench, squinting into the bright sunshine as flocks arrive straight off the sea, out of the sun above the luminous ripple of the Pas de Calais. I can’t see them till they’re right on top of me and once was first alerted by shadows flicking across my notebook page.

Other flocks must be arriving from the Weald, or further up the coast, and sweep over the brow of the next hill down, easier to count against the sky inasmuch as it’s ever easy to count swirling, shifting flocks of hundreds of birds.
Some seem to be cutting west along the scarp, where I’d miss them, while others proceed straight across to Dieppe.
2,130 from 07.40 – 08.40, though most action had tailed off again soon after 08.10. I must get out earlier.
There were also 160 Stock Doves, easiest to count when they passed in discrete, whirring groups but pretty hard to sort at the same time as counting a large mixed flock.
(No pigeons at all have been mentioned on the Dungeness website for the last few days.)
A supporting cast of (largely invisible) CH, LI, SK, S, MP, BL, GO, GR, SG & LR – 40 of the latter still present at the Firehills Plantation.