Urban Invaders

Monday, 6th June 2005

Oxford ragwort7 p.m.

Oxford ragwort is in flower at pavement edges. We've had grey skies most of the day so I've been writing indoors instead of out at the patio table. Now a few rows of cumulus are just beginning to be tinged with rosy gold as the black-headed gulls go by and the collared dove stakes out its urban territory.

As I've said before in this diary, both collared dove and Oxford ragwort are relatively new arrivals in this country. Oxford ragwort, which collared doveoriginally grew on volcanic slopes in Italy and Sicily, spread along the railway system after the Victorians introduced it to the Botanical Gardens in Oxford; the collared dove made it's own way across Europe from the south east of the continent, reaching Britain in the 1960s and finding its own niche in towns and gardens. Next Page


Gulls wheeling over the rooftops

collared dove

A collared dove flies up with a wing-clapping flourish

Richard Bell, richard@willowisland.co.uk