Some of the ideas discussed in this blog are published in my new book called "The Stonehenge Bluestones" -- available by post and through good bookshops everywhere. Bad bookshops might not have it....
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Thursday, 23 November 2017

Stonehenge and the birds

I found this on the web the other day -- yet another illustration of the extraordinary use of the old ruin by birds, maybe particularly during the autumn flocking - roosting season.  Are they jackdaws or starlings? Whatever they are, the scale of droppings being dumped onto the stones is so vast that the actual damage to the stones has to be greater than the damage that might be done by allowing the geologists to take small cores from every one of the standing stones, recumbent stones and stumps.  We need to know what the provenances of all these stones are, and we need to know what the cosmogenic ages are for the exposed stone surfaces, in order to better understand how the stones got there and when they were erected.

Come on, Historic England -- you know it makes sense!  Let the geologists take their samples!


The Afanc said...

Best ask Alfred Hitchcock to have a word with English Heritage, or perhaps build a large wire-net cage over it to stop them roosting, but then they'd only crap through the gaps, or how about setting off explosions at five minute intervals, could tell the visitors that it's only gunfire from Bulford Camp, or simply put a sign up in various languages saying 'Birds not allowed in or over the Circle.
But really I was only seeing if your post was working.

Myris of Alexandria said...


I note with great sadness that the 21st century Greta Garbo stones (my fav pin up was Brigit Bardot and her pop song Brigitte Bardot Bardot)she has/had? a great heart also. Anyway with much tristess I note in the Richards' book a fine pic of said retiring orthostats SH32d and 32e with the inadequate caption "buried stumps".
Fame, so soon lost.

Of all the SH Christmass' annuals I still would go for MPP's racy little number of a couple of years back. Miss out Pryor but if you were novice but wanted a fairly well-rounded introduction this (Richards) is as good as any. I still favour the classics by Hill (her Biog of Pugin is sublime), Darvill and of course Mike Pitts.

All cheap second hand.

The Blick Mead myth rolls on in the Richards' book complete with flushed porcine pictures.


TonyH said...

Which is most important sustainability issue: jackdaws, starlings, Bill Oddie or Stonehenge orthostats? May depend who you ask - National Trust, RSPB, English Nature or Historic England.

BRIAN JOHN said...

The real question is this: of the three options on the table (sorry, on the lintel), jackdaws, starlings, and Bill Oddie, which has the most effective excrement?