Friday, 17 June 2011

Wonderful News - Part I

From the ground, Jose watches the NEW doves in her cote

June 2011

On Saturday 4th June, completely out of the blue, several doves become interested in the dovecote. One was the white male with the black streak in his tail - Flash, I call him, and he's one of the doves that has mated with Jose, although she did seem to prefer another totally white male. Also keen to view were a pair of doves, one white and one more of a pigeon being brown and white (and ringed I think, but not by me). For several hours they fluttered round the cote, popping in and out of all the little compartments, and back and forth to the nearby roof.

Soon it became obvious that Flash and his new white mate were not going to let the brown and white pair get a look in. They wanted the cote and they were going to have it! Of course I wondered what would happen at bedtime when I put Jose to bed in the cote. Depending on how light the evening is, I put Jose to bed about 7-8pm - if this is the first blog you have read, I'll just tell you that Jose can't fly and that's why she can't put herself to bed! (see previous blogs).

Checking out the cote

Portrait of Flash and his new love

But at bedtime Flash and his mate were tucked up together in the top side compartment facing the hutch, so I popped Jose into her normal place, and waited to see what would happen.

Flash and mate came out of their place, where they had seemed very cosy, and flew off, but within a short time they were back and one flew into Jose's bit. I observed from the path - the bird had Jose by the back of the neck and was aggressively pecking her, so I ran up my step ladder and dragged it out. It was the male, Flash, and he was strong and feisty. My husband ringed him for me with a blue ring. I like the ring the doves for easy identification, although it would've been handier if we had caught the female, as Flash is already distinctive with his black streaked tail. I let him go straight after ringing and he flew away, so I put Jose back in the dovecote. This time the female chucked her out, though less aggressively, so I gave in and put Jose in the hutch for the night. Having made the cote their own, the new pair didnt stay the night! Poor Jose! I have a list of names I like for doves but the next set of names I wanted to use were gentle ones and didn't fit the fighter Flash and his lady, so as he was Flash already in my mind, I decided not to change his name and settled for Omo for his mate!

Sunday 5th June - Flash and Omo were around the garden again this morning, Flash busily collecting sticks. They couldn't seem to decide which compartment of the cote to use, but in the end Flash decided on the one that all the doves I've ever had have preferred for their nest box - luckily this is the one facing the house, so as I sit in my chair, say typing this blog on the laptop, I can just glance out of the window and see what's going on. Both Flash and Omo seemed ok with Jose, even spending time with her on her table, and Flash mating with her when Omo's back was turned.

Flash stands on Jose's brick and presides over his girls!
Omo, Jose preening, and Flash

Again, the new doves didn't spend the night, so after they left I put Jose to bed in the dovecote as before - the trouble is I know intuitively that that is where she wants to be at bedtime, she looks up at the cote so pitifully! My husband says I can't possible know what she wants, but he is more of a machine man than a bird lover. I knew Flash and Omo would be back in the morning of course, and I didn't want Jose to be hurt or killed by them so I got up about 4.30am and moved her to the hutch.

Jose grabs a peanut in a funny way!

The end - Part II of this blog is below, PLUS the story of a rescue!

1 comment:

Westerwitch/Headmistress said...

Rushing on to read part two