The rain tip taps on the car roof, falling from a grey sky. Blue sky lies in the distance, far in front, beyond the trail of metal carriages filling the motorway lanes. Red lights flash, on and off, on and off, as we inch along the road.
A gloved finger taps on the steering wheel, in time with the drops all around. No small talk, or music fills the car, just the ambient sounds and the taps.
Beyond the barriers steep tree covered hills give way to undulating fields of pale green grass with cream coloured sheep. Then, a forest of white turbines, reaching their slowly rotating blades high in to the air.
Soon the inches turn into feet and the feet into miles and we are travelling at a steady pace, the landscape whips by, once again the hills creep back around us.
We will pass through into the sunlight before long, the rain will be behind us and the road will be clear.
A train clickity clacks passed the window. Causing flocks of birds to flee. Peace is torn, black dust is thrown, taking passengers from here to there.
It isn’t a bother per say. But it causes alarm in the night. With a shudder and shock, it whisks on by, stopping my heart for a beat.
For now its gone. The birds have landed, silence returns and passengers are off on their way.
This was quite an experiment for me. I really enjoyed testing out the flowing of sentences and seeing what I liked. I may very well do more like this and try and work more thought of flow into my stories!
Outside our flat is a roof area which is inaccessible (we live 4 stories up). Well, to us it’s inaccessible but to birds it’s a paradise of protection. After it rains there are puddles of water for them to get a safe drink, moss grows around the edges and in bright green patches here and there encouraging insects for them to nibble. Since it’s high up, next to some trees and a train track, its safe from cats and other predators.
Along the row of flats an old man throws out seeds from his window in the morning, pigeons flock to him. My favourite type: the Wood Pigeon, amongst them.
Wood Pigeons are elegant birds. I call them dusky roses due to the colour of their chests. They coo in the mornings sounding like cats purring, calling from the trees, a pleasant alarm clock.
We’ve been lucky enough to be able to observe them from our windows, in doing so we’ve seen many behaviours and differences between birds. As well as dusky roses we have Rock Doves (which I call sparkle necks, due to their sparkly necks) and they behave differently.
In mating the male dusky roses bow to females, beak to the ground and tail swooped up high. Hops bring them closer to their quarry, more bowing and more hops and often a chase in flight. The sparkle necks do what we call lion-pigeoning, which is poofing up their chests, spinning around the female, chasing them around.
The fights of the dusky roses reminds me of old fashioned duels. They square up next to one another, head bobs indicate readiness and then the waps begin. Short jabs, wide wing flaps and the winner coos loudly, shouting his victory from the rooftop, the defeated bird flies away; head low.
In the summer we have seagulls as well and, though they can be annoying, their laughing call makes me smile every time.
Seeing birds grooming, lying down relaxing in the sun, going about their life is a treat and something very special. I don’t think many people get the opportunity to see birds doing what birds do away from the world. But if you do get the chance, I highly recommend sitting with a cup of tea and watching them for an hour, you’ll be surprised at the personalities that emerge.