Friday, 28 December 2007

Establishing the pecking order

Today, 28th Dec o7, I noticed another dove in one of the nesting box holes of the dovecote. As I went out to see who it was, it flew out and pushed its way into John's one..... and was speedily pushed out again by the owner himself! As it flew away I saw the green ring. Francis is obviously trying to take over the prime position in the dovecote from his father!

Later on today I saw Iona (yellow ring) actually mating with a female, right on top of the dovecote.

Maybe my Easter boys will bring new life back home in this coming year. I do hope so.

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

John was away on Christmas night

Boxing Day 2007

My dove, John, didn't spend Christmas night in the dovecote but today he was back and I noticed him displaying courting behaviour. He either has a new lady friend or is on the pull! Obviously I would be delighted if he brought a female back to nest in the dovecote. I can't forget poor Lily, but life and love must go on.

Also today there were an obvious male/female pair on the roof of the dovecote and when I approached cautiously I could see the male had a yellow ring and was my Iona (yes I know he has a girl's name but you can't tell a dove's sex when it is a baby).

Later on today, as well as John, there were two other doves in different sections of the dovecote and I hoped they would stay the night.... but they didn't.

So things are looking very hopeful at the moment, and there are still currently 20 -30 doves visiting on a daily basis.

There is one bit of sad news. Poor Speckles succumbed to paramyxo, and my husband's son, who is a gamekeeper, had to finish him off for me. I feel terrible about this.... but what is worse.... the poor thing was completely disorientated and couldn't even land on the feeding table (huge garden table)..... he would have starved to death. He was a beautiful dove with a lovely speckled pattern and feathered feet. RIP Speckles my dear.
The photo is of Speckles, some months ago.