Just had a massive argument with a seagull who reckoned it was fair game that pigeons didn’t make the shortlist for Britain’s National Bird whereas seagulls should definitely have been on there. I held my own but walked away thinking, actually, it is an outrage. We should both be on there.
Voting is taking place as we speak on the following top ten birds:
1. Mute Swan – can’t even speak.
2. Red Kite – scared of buildings.
3. Hen Harrier – never heard of them.
4. Puffin – WTF? How many puffins do you see hanging about in your local park?
5. Barn Owl – only comes out at night.
6, 7, 8. Kingfisher / Wren / Robin – all way too small. Pointless.
9. Blackbird – Fair play. The only one I think deserves to be on the list.
10. Blue Tit – Really?
And not a pigeon in sight. Considering the number of us around, I’d say not even getting a mention is a massive mistake and, frankly, disappointing, particularly considering the huge effort we’ve made over recent years towards engaging in a meaningful way with local communities. According to the BBC, the robin is an early favourite. Robins are already quite hard to stomach. Becoming Britain’s National Bird would make them fucking unbearable. You can read more about it here.
I hit the streets earlier to canvass a few opinions. Of course, it was no surprise that every pigeon I spoke to was as upset about it as I am.
This is Sid. Sid has joined me on a number of campaigns in the past including the G20 Fly-by back in the day:
To say he was angry would be an understatement.
“I can’t bloody believe puffins are on the list, and we’re not. It’s crazy, man! I mean, look at us. We’re everywhere. Ever met a puffin? Nah. Thought not, and as for a bird that only comes out at night. What’s the point in that?”
He did go on to say that he was equally as surprised that neither the magpie nor the sparrow made the list either. I agreed with him.
So, there it is. A bit late now but, assuming this is an annual thing, I’m hoping the Urban Birder who organised the whole gig will do the right thing by ensuring we’re on that list next time. Put it this way, if he doesn’t, watch this space.
Russell: “I say, Pretty Lady, won’t you accompany me forthwith to my feathery bedchamber and lie with me a while?”
Pretty Lady: “Not right now, thanks.”
Russell: “But, Pretty Lady, please simply view my extended chest of plenty and imagine what it might feel like to touch it?”
Pretty Lady: “If it’s all the same to you, I’d rather not…”
Russell: “Pretty Lady, oh how I admire your strength of will in resisting such powerful temptation and, in my heart, I wish there were more like you able to fight their fiery desires…. That’s it, let me chase you…”
Pretty Lady: “Look, let’s get one thing straight – I am not remotely tempted, nor am I even the slightest bit attracted to you. In fact, I’d go as far as to say you repulse me. Now fuck off and leave me alone.”
Russell: “Ok all you lovely ladies out there, here I am, and I’m all yours…
What’s going on with the weather? Once again plans were made, and once again they were promptly dashed due to the extremely piss poor weather conditions.
Mart picked it up on the grapevine that Jonathan Ross was having a Bar-B-Que at his place up in Highgate, and ignoring the inevitable menagerie, a load of us were all set to crash. Then it pissed it down and we presumed he had probably either cancelled, or moved the event indoors.
So Me, Mart and Elliot ended up spending the whole of Sunday and Monday sheltering under a lofty overhang near Charing Cross Station bored off our tits. Even started to play ‘Eye Spy’, it was that dull.
“Eye Spy with my pigeon eye something beginning with ‘R'”, said Mart.
“Road?”, said Elliot.
“Nope.”, said Mart.
“Roof?”, said Elliot.
And that was how it went pretty much all day.
This, on the other hand, happened last week, and is a sure sign that there are pals to the pigeons out there all be they dwindling in number, and no wonder when we behave like this:
Started off all very polite with everyone waiting their turn, including Mart (right).
Then Mike decided to take it to a whole new level.
He comes shuffling in from behind…
…butts everyone out of the way, including Mart…
…and goes for the ‘snatch and grab’ without so much as a nod of thanks.
It’s pigeons like Mike who give the rest of us a bad name. I’d call me ‘a rat with wings’ if we all behaved like that. Thankfully, we don’t.
Anyone out there ever thinking of chucking us the odd bread bit, please don’t let this put you off.
Needless to say we all pulled Mike up on his ungrateful behaviour.
Hopefully, he won’t do it again.