Tuesday, 6 September 2011

The new eggs - and a new dove

6th Sept '11

Read on to find out why Fairy is in the guttering!

Fairy, Flash and Omo's squab - see previous blog - grew up quickly. She had a good instinct for keeping safe and in the early days she spent most of her time, when not feeding, inside Jose's hutch.

I thought it was clever of her to put herself there, and in fact the first day when I came home after being out, and found her there I was amazed! Jose was tolerant of her and allowed her to sit on the table with her or go inside, whatever she liked!See, in the photo below of Fairy inside the hutch, how she has changed....grown up in a few days! In the photo above of her in the hutch (the one second photo down from the top) she has the immature beak still.

On the afternoon of the day Fairy first came out of the nest, as time drew on, Flash spent ages flying in and out of a section of the cote, plainly trying to show his baby 'spend the night here!' but Fairy didnt understand and eventually about 8.20 pm (very late for him!) Flash left the garden and flew away to wherever he roosts at night. Fairy stayed on the roof and eventually settled, sitting in the gutter (see top photo) for the night. Luckily it was mild, but I hated it and was up very early in the morning and thankful to see her ok.

By the next night Fairy had cracked it and spent the night in the cote. It felt very cosy and Happy Families to me - Mum, Omo, in the the nest with her two eggs, big baby Fairy also in the cote and Jose in her hutch. I hadn't had so many doves for the night for ages.

On the 8th Aug when Fairy was 37-39 days old, she flew off with Flash in the evening and didnt spend the night in the cote. I was sorry about that but she was always a forward dove.... I was even sorrier in the morning when she wasn't there with Flash and the others for the morning feed and I hoped nothing had happened to her. I didn't see her again for two days and had almost given up hope, but she found her way back and since then I see her regularly. She's one of my special darlings and always gets peanuts thrown to her!

On Sunday 14th Aug both Flash and Omo were off the nest and I got the steps and checked it. Two eggs, and one warmer than the other.
The doves spent the day 'fussing' - other doves were around the cote and Flash didnt see them off as usual. The atmosphere was wrong and the next day they abandoned the nest in the morning. About 2.30pm Omo went back to it and spent a whole minute checking it out, but left again. I was upset of course, and wondered what was the reason? Had the buzzards mewing cries upset them? Was it the weather... or what?

The eggs had been due to hatch, why would they leave them at this stage? That evening Flash and Omo came back, left again, came back again several times over a period of an hour and a half but eventually flew away for the night. I removed the cold eggs when it was completely dark but didnt crack them then as I knew I'd be upset if there were squabs inside.
The next morning I opened them - nothing! Duds! Just like the one that had been with Fairy.

Flash and Omo visited Jose and spent a day or so back to normal, and started mating again!

By the 18th August Flash was bringing sticks to the nest again (same nest) and by the afternoon of the 20th Omo seemed settled in it once more. Two days later, 22nd Aug, I saw Omo and Flash swap places, so there must be an egg!!

While all this was going on a new dove came into my life. I first noticed her on the ground alone when the other doves had left for the night and managed to catch her in the net. It's almost impossible to catch a dove that's not poorly so I assumed she was, but could see no obvious reason, so I ringed her and named her Pixie, and put her in the hospital box for the night. In the morning I set her free and saw her frequently over the next couple of weeks.
She had cute feathered feet and a funny little personality of her own.

My husband wondered if she had come from another cote as she was quite tame, joining the peanut eaters in the morning to eat off my hands. She acted differently to the other doves, clambering on my fingers and ducking under my elbows to get the nuts. One day she wasn't there, and as it was a Sunday I went round to the back of the buildings near us that are used as offices. Pixie was on the ground and I was afraid she couldn't fly so I took round some food and water. I think she liked being waited on hand and foot, but since then unfortunately I havent seen her.

It is nearly time for the new eggs to hatch - 18 days is the norm - but I am trying not to get my hopes up, but of course I AM getting my hopes up..... today is Tue 6th Sept so I calculate Thurs or Fri should be hatching day - fingers crossed! Today is rainy and blustery and the doves were acting a bit funny again. They do not like wind! They both left the nest for about 5 minutes and that seemed too long to me but have settled down now. I do hope all with be well this time. My husband is pessimistic - he says that of the four earlier eggs, only one hatched and 1 out of 4 is not a good percentage and maybe Flash is firing blanks. Well, I said, what about Fairy? Maybe Omo mated with another dove as well as Flash that time he said. There is nothing I can do but wait and see...

The last two photos are the doves enjoying a puddle! Fairy is at the front of the first picture. She's beautiful, isn't she? The end... to be cont.


Norma Murray said...

Faith, they are all so cute. I can see why you love them so.

Fennie said...

It's better than the Archers. Really eggsciting waiting for something to hatch. And do the young birds fight - or squab-ble? Fairy may have spent the night in the gutter but she was looking at the stars. Thanks for such an interesting blog.

blackbird said...

I was going to say the same thing Fennie- I'm on the edge of my seat waiting for the next episode. How late in the summer do they hatch their young?

Faith said...

Glad you are all enjoying it. Blackbird, I believe doves/pigeons can hatch young all year round. I assume it's mainly to do with availability of food and the hours of light/temperature. I wouldnt have thought many more eggs will be laid now.