Pigeon formation team

It’s bright today. That’s good. We need a little comfort where we can find it, when temperatures drop – and here it is in the ash trees that are still in (autumnal coloured) leaf, the brightness of the sun on them…and the pigeons.

There’s a man who lives maybe five minutes away on foot who keeps pigeons. I know, because they sit on the roof, forming a perfect V over the gables. And very occasionally, he does something with them to make them different pastel colours. (I don’t know about the animal rights aspects of this, so we’ll need to move on.)

You may expect various sights when sitting on a bus on the way to work, but a roof-ful of pigeons that look like they’re made out of fondant is not usually one of them.

Meanwhile, we get occasional flocks of birds that wheel over the roofs where we are, and I think they may be his pigeons. I’m not sure. Given that they swoop over the same sections of roofs, again and again, I tend to think they are based nearby, but I may be wrong.

Whatever the origin, it’s a pigeon formation team. And I get to admire the whole performance from my bedroom window. On bright mornings, it’s easier, because there’s sun on their feathers, and the movement draws my eye.

And then I look out for them. There are maybe about twenty all together. Sometimes the circles are short, sometimes they fully disappear out of sight for a minute, then reappear.

Today there appear to be a couple of outriders going ahead of the rest. I’ve not seen this before. But as I write, they’ve kindly shortened their glide (can they tell I’m writing about them?) and are coming even closer to my window so I get a good look.

It’s not just the light on the white belly feathers. It’s the contrast of the grey on the backs. It’s also the shadows of them on the roof opposite, highlighting the motion.

The sky is cloudless. It’ll be even colder tonight. But for now, there are fast moving clouds and shadows, in the shape of our friendly local pigeon formation team.

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