This week my husband witnessed something truly remarkable especially for us ex city dwellers. We have worked hard to make our garden as bird and insect friendly as possible and the delightful result of this is being able to witness the unending antics of a variety of birds.

The birds have also taken advantage of our good nature and, where a full feeder used to last a week, a feeder now lasts a maximum of three days. Fortunately they cannot reach up to ring the doorbell when it is empty but I get the feeling that they will eventually find a way to make their displeasure felt.

Yesterday my husband heard a tremendous commotion of bird squawking, beating of wings and screeching, much more than the normal mating sounds. He walked outside and saw a pigeon in combat with a beautiful kestrel right outside the front door! The fight carried on for quite a while with the pigeon aggressively attacking the kestrel. Eventually the kestrel broke away and settled down on the ground near the small fountain. As soon as the kestrel looked up and saw my husband, s/he released a bird held in their claws and flew away. The bird turned out to be a sparrow which also then flew away.

What I find amazing is the fact that a pigeon would come to the rescue of a bird not of its species or “family”. It is also astounding to me that you would get a bird of prey hunting in the middle of a market town.

Always something new to see or do in Shipston!