It was late on Sunday afternoon when I finally managed to get away to the allotment. It was 3.45pm and the light was starting to fail. It would be dark by 4.15pm. I wasn’t prepared for the crime scene I found in the sombre gloom of our plot. Total decimation. Nothing had escaped untouched, not even the mizuna. Wood pigeons again.Quite why the mizuna should be left untouched until now, then suddenly and systematically razed to the ground I do not know. Perhaps ‘first frosted’ mizuna is a great delicacy in pigeon world and they had been saving both the mizuna and themselves for this gastronomic winter treat.
All that remained were thick ribs of muzuna, chard, chicory, sorrel and kale leaves, discarded like so many fish bones, stripped bare. It would seem our only option is to net as much of the plot as we can. The prospect of imprisoning them in a netting cell ‘for their own safety’ leaves me feeling uneasy and claustrophobic. It seems against the spirit of what we are trying to do. I wonder if there are other ways to deter the pigeons ? I cant imagine they are afraid of shiny things hanging from string. They are some of the most brazen, plumpest and well fed pigeons you will ever see. If you walk to towards them, they’ll nonchalantly keep grazing until they can see the whites of your reddening eyes. Then slowly, reluctantly, in bellows of down force, with all the commotion of fully ladened Sikorsky helicopter they take off, and lift into the air, making for the nearest suitably sized branch.
This week, I suppose, we will reluctantly buy more netting. Making note to secure it well above the tops of the plants. On Mary’s neighbouring plot, her securely netted Brussels sprouts have been dropped on from the air by leaden pigeons pushing the net right down to the sprout tops, which have been subsequently stripped.
I left the plot in the glowing dark feeling sympathetically gloomy, with not a leaf for supper.
Any ideas on pigeon protection or deterrance most welcome.