Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Dove Returned to Grateful Owner

Belle, in dog carrier, waiting to be collected.

I have mentioned before that for the last while a ringed white dove has been visiting my garden with the rest of the feral flock. She has a yellow ring on one leg, and a white ring with a telephone number on on the other.

I didn't name her but for the purpose of writing the blog I will call her Belle. She was a bold little thing, and would always run to me, and after a while would feed from my hand, with some of the other bold, or very hungry, doves. As she became tamer, I took my camera out at feeding time and tried to take photos of her feet, so that I could find out the telephone number. I got most of it from the photos, as once they were uploaded, it was easy to read, but I couldn't see all of it and so it came into my mind that I might be able to catch her.

So on Tuesday 14.10.08 at the afternoon feeding time, I scattered the grain as usual over the island, and put some on the wall near me, and had some in my open hand too. Belle, hungry as always, can rushing over in her normal way. I suspected she was a young dove, and she was moulting on her head, so easy to recognise with her pink skin showing through on her head and just a few fluffy feathers.

While Belle and the others crowded round my left hand on the wall, I brought my right hand up and swiftly down on the one I hoped was Belle. I had caught her! but holding onto her was not easy! She is a feisty, strong dove. I held her close to my body, with my hand over her head and hurried off the island to put her in my dog's travelling box. I really must get another for the doves - I'm always using his!

Belle tried to escape by bashing herself against the grille, but eventually realised it was futile. I put grain and water in the box and went to get a pen and paper. Having noted down the telephone number and feeling pleased with myself for catching her, I rang the number.

I discovered that Belle belongs to Bob Friar of Everlasting Doves in Aldershot, Surrey. He keeps beautiful white pure bred Logan Rock doves and releases them at occasions such as weddings and funerals. Please take a moment to look at his website Bob was, I think, rather surprised to get my call but of course very pleased to know that Belle was alive and well. She had been missing for about three weeks having flown away from his garden with another of his doves (sadly still missing). Belle, at time of blogging, is about 16 weeks old and the distance between Bob's home and mine is 23.5 miles.

Bob came to collect Belle the next day. He brought a purpose built dove carrying box out of his car, with little compartments, suitable for transporting several doves. Out of this he produced a bottle of wine for me, which was a kind thought, although it had been no trouble at all for me to catch and keep Belle for him and I enjoyed having her, although not keeping her confined.

I really enjoyed our chat - it's lovely to talk to someone who truly shares your interest - and Bob was able to give me a few useful tips. He also assured me that, come what may, the doves and pigeons visiting my garden would definitely not starve if I stopped feeding them.

It would be a long, lonely winter without them...........

Wish I'd scrubbed the paint off my hands before taking this photo!
The end.


Anonymous said...

That is such a lovely story with a beautiful happy ending. You are a Saint amongst doves, Faith.

CJ xx

Elizabethd said...

How lovely to have been able to return Belle to her owner. He must have been so worried about her.

Cait O'Connor said...

I can only say that I would have written what Crystal has!
A nice photo too Faith.