Sunday, 31 August 2008


Spirit in the flower bed

Saviour waiting on the roof


On the 27th August, two doves spent the night on our roof. I was pleased to see them, but knew it was unusual and thought maybe they were just passing through.

The next day I realised that one of them had an injured wing and had drifted down to the garden but couldn't fly. I am pretty sure it is the female and I named her Spirit and her mate, Saviour, as he brought her here where it is safe.

The garden is fenced and my dog doesnt annoy the doves, so a poorly dove is fairly safe during the day, when I am around.

Thursday the 28th was about the worst day for me to find an injured dove in the garden. My poor little Yorkshire Terrier, who suffers from a collapsed trachea, was very ill indeed and I thought he was going to die, or have to be put to sleep. While my daughter watched over him, I nipped out to feed the doves and that's when I discovered poor Spirit. She was hiding in the flower bed, and her wing seemed to be drooping and slightly out of position. I put some food near her and a little bowl of water; she edged away from me while I did this.

In the early evening I was less worried about my dog as he seemed to be improving, thank goodness, so I went out to the garden to look for Spirit. She was in the same place, perched on a pot but I knew she would be vulnerable there all night - cats definitely come into the garden occasionally and we have also seen mink, and no doubt a fox could get in if it was really determined. I trapped her easily by bringing the big fishing net I keep for the purpose down over her as gently as possible, and then scooping her up. You have to hold doves with their wings together and against your body, and then they are ok and don't struggle.

I popped her up in the dovecote for the night, and put in a few seeds too. I have a weeny little terracotta water bowl for poorly doves in the dovecote, and I put it on the outer ledge. Saviour, on the roof opposite, could see her I'm sure.

Last night was the fourth night Spirit has spent in the dovecote, but the first night I couldn't see Saviour on the roof. I hope he hasn't abandoned her. Doves mate for life, but maybe he thinks she won't recover or maybe he has found a better roost for the night.

During the day, Spirit hides in the flower bed or comes out and walks on the lawn, especially if other doves are about. I don't normally feed the doves on the lawn any more (see previous blog) but I have been putting some down, so the doves are around for Spirit's sake.

Three times since she has arrived I have found her in the garden lying on her back, feet in the air, and her head turned to the side. It seems to be when she has been trying to hop up a little higher, to a step or a pot, to roost on and she's fallen down.

It's lovely having a dove in the dovecote again, and I have ringed her with orange. Pax's colour but I doubt he will ever come back. I MUST get some more rings; keep saying it and never do it.

I will let you know how Spirit gets on.
The end.


Preseli Mags said...

Fingers crossed for Spirit (good name!), she's in safe hands. And I hope dear Yorkie's feeling better now too. xx Mags

Cait O'Connor said...

I love the names you have chosen for the doves who were obviously led to you. I hope that Spirit continues to improve (also your dear Yorkie).

Frances said...

Hello Faith,
Cait has written just what I was about to write!
I will just add that your photos are quite beautiful.

Pondside said...

You photos are very beautiful, Faith. I hope Spirit recovers and Saviour stays around to fly off with her!

FunkyMunky said...

I hope Spirit continues to improve - and that Saviour comes back for her. Truly beautiful names for such beautiful birds. How lucky they are to have come to you in their hour of need.
Hope your little doggie is better now too.

Ellie said...

That's beautiful Faith, I hope Spirit recovers. Meanwhile, I can't find an email address for you - but you have won a prize for your humungous list of suggestions! Please can you get in touch via email ( and let me know where you'd like me to send it. Many thanks.