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.