On Sat 17th another poorly white dove was netted and put in the hospital box in the conservatory - but it seemed so icy cold in there that I changed my mind and put the box in the spare bedroom - unheated by warmer! It survived the night and I ringed her with a blue ring naming her Bianca2. I could feel her bone through her chest, so she's a bit thin but I put the box on the garden table and opened it and out she came, joining the other doves for breakfast on the lawn, and later with a bit of an effort flying to the low roof.
Above is Bianca2 staying the night on the porch roof. I'm pleased to report that she's still around the garden every day, so maybe she will be ok. That's if she survives the sparrowhawk - yes Miss Hawky is around the garden, and the farm again. I took the photo below after she flew into the trees just beyond the yard in front of the house. She also made a dive at the doves feeding, while I was standing there!
It's only a few days to Christmas day and I am feeling that Flash is probably well enough to be released, but I have so many commitments and will be away from the garden so much til after Christmas that he will definitely have to wait until at least Boxing Day. Then I'll only release him if the weather will be reasonable for the first few days after that. The plan will be to release him in the morning of a good day, when the other doves and pigeons are in the garden.
Friday 23rd Dec - the elderly lady who cleans the offices in the building next door came round to ask me to collect a dove that she said had been in the same position for two days (why, oh why didn't she come before) - the offices are in an old mill, the dove in an awkward position but I managed to wriggle in, net and box it to bring home. I named it Iris after the lady but she died later that afternoon, poor thing. If you see a dove/pigeon in trouble and think you would like to help, then act sooner rather than later - they have little in the way of reserves and don't last long without food and water. These two sites give excellent advice for someone who is maybe not used to dealing with pigeons, but wants to help - http://www.pigeoncote.com/vet/recovery/recovery.htm or http://www.pigeon-aid.org.uk/pa/html/index.php
I opened the top section of Flash's run and propped it back. He ran up and down the ramp a few times, then flew out with assurance. to the low roof near the dove cote. I had expected him to stay around for a few minutes and then take off to fly, enjoying his freedom. Instead he flew straight to the favoured front position of the cote, where he had raised his families in the summer. Obviously he is perfectly recovered as he had no trouble flying into the small window of lthe cote. Previously he wouldn't have been able to negotiate it as the paramyxovirus causes lack of co-ordination, amongst other symptoms.