On not being grey

The Stock Dove is not nondescript – although generally described as grey. But as I spotted the Bridge pair as I drove into to Norwich, it struck me how subtle their colouration really is.

On each side of the neck a splash of verdigris, that copper pipe green, which is at this time of the year almost jewel-like in its intensity. The bird’s chest has that blush of pink that is so characteristic of many pigeon species. The wing and the back are a uniform grey which is nicely set off by the soot black wing-tips. In flight they stick together in a simple formation wherever they go. Their black wingtips show up a clear wing fringe edging.

The Bridge pair has been concentrating on colonising the girders which support the railway bridge on the Buxton Road. There seem very few ledges but this is their favoured spot.

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