April Fools

I came downstairs this morning to find a mess of snowy, downy feather in the back half of the lounge. Uh-oh. No sign of any remains though, so I went to the front of the lounge, in front of the sofa, in order to open the blinds. Ah…

April Fools! He’d not eaten everything and just left a few feathers. Oh no, today’s lovely gift from Sébastian was a wood pigeon. Maybe. It’s very hard to tell from one semi-intact wing and the feet. But the size and the feet strongly suggest pigeon and we have more wood pigeons than urban flying rats around here.

Sébastian’s kill count

  • Rodents:
    Rats – 3
    Mice – 51
    Voles –12
  • Birds:
    Sparrows – 5
    Dunnocks – 1
    Robin – 1
    Ringed (or other) pigeon – 3 4
    Uncertain – 10
  • Other:
    Frogs – 1
    Unidentifiable remains – 3

There’ve been three new cats in the gardens recently: ‘strange cat’ and Pru belong to next door, and ‘two collars’ who belongs who knows where. ‘Two collars’ looks very like ‘strange cat’ but my neighbours tell me it is a different larger tom cat who kept trying to make special friends with Pru. It wears two collars. Obviously. So I suspect Séba’s bringing kills into the house in order to finish them without having to argue with ‘strange cat’ or ‘two collars’. That makes me think the actual kill count may be much higher.

The other week the Chap thought my amazing ornithology skills (i.e. recognising very common birds) meant I knew more about birds than I do. What’s the proper name of common pigeons, I was asked. My responses included ‘flying rats’, ‘London pigeons’, ‘vile things’ and, eventually, “I dunno, I think it’s the rock pigeon.” And it is! And I didn’t even cheat and use the Observer Book of Birds to check…

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