I miss my large flock and mourned for them, but still have some white and coloured doves visiting every day. Here are most of what I call the After Doves.
In the beginning the birds seemed upset. It was heartbreaking to see a single dove sit on the roof waiting patiently for the others that never came, then fly round in circles to come back and wait again. Gradually the ones that were left either flew away entirely or reformed into little groups.
Here's a grey I recognise - a light grey with distinctive bands. I call him BlueBand. He doesn't come every day and I wonder where they go for food when they are not at mine!
This next one underneath was taken in the summer - is it CB and Ruffle? Hard to tell but I think so.At the most, just after the shooting, I saw a maximum of fourteen birds together, coloured and white. Now the most I might see is eight or nine, and usually just small groups of two, three, four or five...... or just a single bird. As I type, I caught the reflection of a bird in the computer screen and went to look out of the window and it was Blue Band on his own. You might wonder how I recognise them all, but it's quite easy with birds you see regularly. Many have distinctive markings or characteristics. I don't recognise any of the whites, except Peace, Harmony and Spartacus.
I went up to another local farm - not where my flock were shot - to see if they still had doves roosting in their buildings. The lady who I'd met before, was nice and said no doves were roosting, but they did come down into the field to a particular spot. We went to look and there, sure enough, was Ruffle and a white dove. They must've flown there as I was driving as I'd left them on the roof at home! The lady said they always went to that certain place - maybe minerals in the soil? I don't know.
I wanted to call them John and Edward, but my husband can't stand Jedward and didn't like the idea so I didn't. I haven't seen them for a little while now, so the speckled twins are still un-named. I have seen them with DD and think they are closely related. Here's another photo, not so clear.
I also have a pair of white doves regularly visiting that I call the Lover Doves as they are always billing and cooing. My last pair of Lover Doves, right at the beginning of the year, set up home in my dovecote and were Hope and Glory, parents of my sweet little squabs, Victory and Purity (RIP) so I am hoping that these two might decide to live here too.
Here's a photo - looking exactly like any other pair of white doves!And here they are again taking things a bit further!
So, thankfully, I still have doves in the garden and hope of new squabs in the spring.