Sunday 9th March '08
We live on a farm and today it occured to me to go down to the big barn to see if there was any evidence on doves roosting there at the moment. Doves have been there in the past.
The barn is big and airy, with open entrances - no doors. I walked in, watching my feet, as they are currently digging up the floor, prior to renovating the whole building. There were various feathers on the ground and some of them looked liked dove feathers. I walked to the far end, and there amongst the dirty bits of straw and general debris I found a discarded white eggshell!
I looked up to the rafters and could see a white dove on a precariously balanced scrappy nest. He or she was busy and didn't spot me at first. It was more likely that it was the male on the nest at that time, as it was about 1pm, and the male does the day shift, from about 10 am to 4pm. Then the female takes over for the longer night shift, from 4pm to the following morning.
I picked up the egg and watched the parent dove for a short time. He finished fussing with the squab/s (babies) and appeared to notice me. I walked slowly and quietly away so as not to disturb. As I left I scanned the beams for other doves, and noticed a smallish fluffy one sitting up high, but near the entrance to the barn. It was probably the female. She would no doubt stay close, unless she was off looking for food.
I felt cheered to know that at least one pair of doves are nesting close by. It is possible that it is John and a mate because anything is possible, but I don't really think so.
Before dusk a lone dove sat on the roof here for a long while and then came down for a feed before flying swifly away. Perhaps the mother dove before she had to sit for the night?
(Photo shows a dove on a nest, but not the one in the barn of course)