Thursday, 14 June 2018

No Stool Pigeons Here

Nobody seems quite sure of the origin of this phrase meaning decoy or police informer. Some say it is from the practice of fixing a dead or replica bit to a stool to attract other birds - but that word was probably stole meaning tree stump. Others say it's from the French word estale, a decoy bird. Nothing to do with three-legged seating. Who cares?
When we first moved to Dorset, I lamented the loss of my kitchen table. It was the right height for me to sit for meals, roll pastry etc. But three years later, I'm getting used to climbing up onto the stool, and eating at the 'breakfast bar'
And although I mutter about being high up, there is one great advantage - I'm perched up higher, and can look out into the garden at mealtimes and watch the birds.
There seemed to be fewer birds for a while, after Jim's oak was felled in 2016. But lately they've been returning. Our lawn is not a pristine green carpet, but daisies, buttercups, clover, dandelions and other wild flowers thrive there. A recent Guardian article has encouraged me enormously, as it describes how 're-wilding' can benefit the environment. It does make sense, when you think about it - our British wildlife is designed to eat the plants which grow in our soil/climate - so filling our gardens with imported foreign plants is expecting them to change their diets. [but this is not an excuse to avoiding weeding]
I've noticed all sorts of birds, the RSPB site is helpful - we have noticed herring gulls, blackbirds, robins, tits, swallows, magpies, woodpigeons, starlings and more. The 2018 Great British Birdwatch revealed interesting facts about Dorset gardens and the increase in the number of smaller birds visiting us here in the South West. 
I have been aware of many birds eating from the feeder on the tree at the front of the house- but not from the feeder I hung at the back - I suspect that may be the frequent presence of neighbouring unfriendly cats.
Do you have any interesting feathered friends visiting your garden?

1 comment:

  1. No garden but a wooded conservation area outside my kitchen window - I see woodpeckers, robins, blue jays, red-winged blackbirds, cardinals, the occasional Finch, hawks, and just recently saw 4 turkey vultures which I have never seen in the city before now!


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