Monday, November 14, 2011

A Little Birdhouse in Your Soul

'I have seen a kestrel flying over the Deptford gasworks, and I have heard a first-rate performance by a blackbird in the Euston Road. There must be some hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of birds living inside the four-mile radius, and it is rather a pleasing thought that none of them pays a halfpenny of rent' (George Orwell, Some Thoughts on the Common Toad, 1946).

'The London Wildlife Trust and Café Crema present an afternoon with bird specialist Diane Wallace, wildlife educator from the London Wildlife Trust. This workshop teaches you all about the fantastic variety of birds in urban gardens and how you can attract them to your garden:

- Dos and don’ts on feeding birds
- Make your own mini bird-feeder
- Build your own bird box, all materials provided

Families and children welcome. Please note for safety reasons, children must be accompanied by an adult for the bird box making in the garden at Café Crema. Free tea and coffee and light refreshments provided for participants. Free, all welcome.

Sunday 20th November, 12-2pm at Café Crema wildlife garden and secret orchard: 306 New Cross Road, SE14 6AF (020 8320 2317). Please call or email to reserve a place'.

1938 picture of pigeons by E.H. Windred, the famed pigeon painter of 352 New Cross Road (lots more of his paintings at this gallery.


Anonymous said...

Excellent paintings! the Stubbs of the pigeon fancier world!

Transpontine said...

Apparently people used to bring their prizewinning pigeons from all over the country to get him to paint them.

Anonymous said...

I once had a homing pigeon spend the night with me. I was in the garden and a very elegant pigeon landed close to me and took an interest in what I was doing. It was quite persistent in its friendliness and after a while I gave it some food (that I thought it might like, rice, lentils etc).

It took this opportunity to make it's way into the house where it had a bit of a look around (walking), then decided to perch on the back of a chair for the night.

I took this chance to get the number off the ring on it's leg and through a website tracked its owner down to somewhere near Scunthorpe. I rang him and explained his bird had taken residence for the evening and he explained that the bird was on its way back from France - he also seemed to think that the break in the journey might signal the birds unwillingness to complete the journey. He went on to ask me if I knew any lorry drivers as they were often the saviour of lost birds, bringing them back home in their cab. Alas, I said I didn't know any lorry drivers.

The bird flew off the next morning none the worse for wear and left me to clean the floor beneath where it had spent the night . . .

Deptford Pudding said...

@anon: we had a similar experience. A homing pigeon crash-landed outside our house. Looked as if it'd broken something landing so we took it to the vet in Shardeloes Road. He gave it an injection and gave us some pills to give it and we took it home. It seemed very friendly and we donated an empty room to the bird. We traced the owner from the ring via the Racing Pigeon society (patron HM The Queen). The owner was in Hull, he said the bird was returning from France when he arrived in SE4 adding he'd come and fetch it when he could. There was a courier service that carried pigeons but we didn't fancy him in a little cardboard box. Trouble was he became more and more wild as he got his strength back and would fly aggressively at us if we entered 'his' room. After about 3 months the owners appeared with a tin of biscuits for us as a thank you. The man walked into the room and whistled and the bird flew straight to him! He said because of the injury he wouldn't be racing again, but he would be kept for breeding. The bird was worth several thousand pounds. There's a funny book about pigeon fanciers called "A Very British Coop".