If I hadn’t seen this for myself, I probably would not have believed it.
Looking out of our french windows yesterday afternoon, I noticed activity in our bird bath. Yes IN, not on.
This cast iron garden ornament was a 50th birthday present from my family a fair few years ago.
It sits serenely (rusting) in front of the bird table, upon which is an old stainless steel (lime-scaled and green fungi lined) dog bowl which also gets filled with water for our feathered friends.
It is not unusual for one of the robins to be getting ready for a hot date as he splashes in the bird bath most days, and the blackbirds also take it in turns for a refreshing dip. The starlings have recently taken to follow suit, but it seems to be an unwritten rule in the avian world that the steel bowl is for drinking only, and the bird bath is, well, for bathing.
I have sometimes had to hose out the occasional ‘jobbie’ in the bird bath, and no doubt if I asked who the culprit was there would be a chorus of chirped “not me” ‘s from the entire multitude of birds that visit our garden throughout the year.
Yesterday, it was not just jobbies I had to worry about.
(This is not my bird bath by the way, but you get my drift)
Sitting very close and friendly together in the bird bath were Portly and Breast, our two getting-fatter-by-the-minute mini turkeys, AKA wood pigeons.
Not only were they billing and cooing, but they were checking each other out behind the ears, wings, and tail feathers. I mean really checking each other out. Nothing was left to the imagination as they turned and proffered, turned and offered, turned and shoved their relevant bits in each others faces.
Once the foreplay was out of the way, the male mounted the female, and seconds later it was all over.
She stayed in the bath as he perched on the edge, cocking his head as if to say
‘Was it all right for you?’
He then flew off in the direction of one of the feeders, obviously for a post coitus snack.
She in the meantime continued with her beauty routine, missing no part of her body as she fluffed and puffed her feathers as she bathed, staying in the bath for a good five minutes after the event.
Finally stepping out, yes stepping, not hopping, she alighted gracefully onto the lawn like some grand duchess and set off in the opposite direction to her mate.
Maybe it wasn’t ‘all right’ afterall, or perhaps like Lady Chatterley, she’d had her way with the hired hand and his services were no longer required.
Still, time will tell and I shall be looking for the broken egg shells in due course.