Riding the Wind…..


When I first suggested this topic I was thinking biblically. There are several references to the birds of the air in the Bible. Some of them apocalyptic. (Ezekiel?)  I was also thinking of our supposed dominion over them  as in Genesis 1;26 “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

However,  my mind turned to the freedom of the birds the other day.

We have had some fairly storm weather here in the U.K. over the past week and two days ago I was out and about enjoying the wind blowing through my hair when I became aware of an increasingly familiar sound.

I may have mentioned that over the past thirty-five or so years there have been changes in the local bird population. We have gained green woodpeckers, wood pigeons( a pity I am not allowed to shoot them in town as pigeon pie is delicious),  collared doves and several other species. We have lost particularly that bumptious little bird the House Sparrow.

A noticeable increase in corvids is apparent. Years ago we might have been lucky to see the occasional crow (Corvus corone) but now they are abundant along with the ever present  magpie(Pica pica), the Jay (Garrulus glandarius)which, with it’s blue shot wing feathers , is increasingly finding its way into the more urban parts of out locality.

Two or three years ago I head the distinctive call of a Jackdaw((Coloeus monedula)….(http://education.scholastic.co.uk/resources/12095) and this is what caught my attention last Wednesday. I stopped and looked up. There, gleefully riding the wind, was a flock of jackdaw calling, soaring  and tumbling in the air.  I stood and watched this play, it can only have been play,  for several minutes.

I like to think theirs was a similar pleasure to my own, felt as the wind buffeted me and blew my (increasingly sparse) hair and pinched my cheeks.

Riding the wind? What a wonderful experience that must be.

More about “The birds of the air” may be found at these various places on the “net”, amongst the various writings of the LBC:Conrad, Delirious, Maria/Gaelikaa, Maria SilverFox, OCD writer, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, Rohit, Will Knott, Grannymar



9 Responses to “Riding the Wind…..”

  1. Grannymar Says:

    I love the wind in my hair… but it sure makes a mess of it!

  2. Delirious Says:

    Thinking about them playing really makes me wish I could fly!

  3. padmum Says:


    We don’t see too much of the sparrow in my city as well. The pigeons are a disaster–very cheeky and intrusive–a wonder considering how they eat only grain. The Muslims and Jains have a traditions of feeding these birds as part of their daily routine. We feed the crows as we think that they are a representation of departed ancestors.

    • magpie11 Says:

      We have feral pigeons too…the woody is really a bird of the countryside. I remember huge flocks that would settle on the Brussels Sprouts and cabbages and could strip them bare in a couple of days. They were standard prey when farmers organised a day of Rough Shooting. Pests!
      The feral pigeon is in reality a descendent of the Rock Dove;
      This from the British Trust for Ornithology:
      The ancestor of all feral pigeons (and domesticated pigeons, of which Darwin counted 228 distinct varieties), ‘pure’ Rock Doves probably now only exist in the wildest corners of northern Europe and Asia, where they nest on sheer sea-cliffs.

  4. bitchontheblog Says:

    Let me paraphrase “What is this life if, full of care, we do not have time to stand, watch and listen to birds …” Neither does it rhyme.

    Birds, all creatures, including ourselves, are awesome. So fragile, yet so resilient. Breaks my heart if I think about it. Which is why I try and blend out that aspect of life as best I can. Which is not very good.

    I draw the line at pigeon pie/soup. Neither can I eat rabbit. Their skinned body reminding me too much of the outline of a cat. Someone once gave me a rabbit (dead). I kept it in a vessel with a lid, in the fridge, for ages. I couldn’t bring myself to do anything with it. I don’t know if maggots find their way into fridges. Eventually I just chucked the container, lid and all, unopened. Haunts me to this day. Considering the rabbit was dead already I could have done it the honour of meeting its destiny, well cooked and delicious, on my table and in my guests’s stomachs.

    Gone with the wind, blown away, yours


    • magpie11 Says:

      There you go: Mardling again.

      Birds are the remains of the Dinosaurs….. it always puzzled me when my teachers said, “Birds are descended from reptiles.” and sought to explain this away by pointing to the scales on their legs. “But sir. Reptiles are cold blooded and birds are warm blooded.”
      It was all part of my doubting that scientists”knew” that Dinosaurs were reptiles or cold blooded.
      It seems that, at the age of eleven, I wasn’t far out. But paeleobiologists (or whatever they are called) know more these days.

      As for pie…. rabbit with prunes and armagnac and a lovely flaky or short crust pastry lid….. delicious. Rabbits and pigeons were always two things as a child: Pests and extra meat.

      Now I think of it some might describe the child as, at least, the first of those two.

      Ever heard of Rabbit starvation? A serious problem in some parts. Too much rabbit meat and not enough fat!

  5. Looney Says:

    This Loon is having trouble knowing how to react to this topic.

  6. Rummuser Says:

    I can relate to your tryst with the various varieties of birds. Luckily, in my neighbourhood, we have planted and care for a lot of trees and we have just about a hundred meters away a bird sanctuary on the bank of the Mulamutha river. We therefore get to see a lot of birds throughout the year, but alas, the sparrow is an endangered species here.

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