When I left the hustle and bustle of Swindon for a quieter, more rural life I began an education of country ways which has led me to some interesting observations.

Pigeons are not the preserve of the countryside, as could be seen in Jack Duckworth’s back yard in Coronation Street for so many years, but I do have a better understanding of them now than when I lived in the Corrie-esque streets of Rodbourne, and I’d like to share my knowledge with Swindon townies.

There are basically three types of pigeon, each identifiable by their call.

These are Betty, Michael Owen and Yogi Bear, and they all share a five syllable song, but with different emphasis on each syllable, and to which various words plainly fit.

Now Betty is a fairly well known pigeon. I’ve heard other people refer to this type and its call, which goes ‘My toe hurts Betty’’, repeated ad nauseam. Betty seems unable to assist with the pain though, despite the pleading for help.

I first noticed the next one during some summer football tournament a few years back when Michael Owen was still a regular England squad member, but still as injury-prone as ever.

This bird goes ‘Michael Owen’s fit’ over and over again. Which was ironic, because he never was.

And the third feathered friend sings ‘There goes Yogi Bear’, or more accurately, ‘There goes (pause) Yogi (pause) Bear’.

Of course as the summer goes on, just like us, pigeons tend to slow down a bit. They get a bit lazy and start to suffer from the equivalent of middle aged spread that I know so well.

So the five syllables can become four, or even just three, which can confuse listeners less knowledgeable about these matters than me. ‘Mike O’s fit’ for example conveys a similar message, and could be seen as the bird equivalent of text speak.

Use this information how ever you see fit if you find yourself out in the wonderful Wiltshire countryside.

So, there you have a synopsis of the calls of the common pigeon, supplied by someone who has countryside experience of such things.

And who may have spent too long out in the sun recently.