Flash was definitely on the nest today, and so I assume there must be eggs, which is great news!
I ringed another white dove today - pink ring - and called him Ice. It's fairly easy to catch the doves at the moment, and Ice is one of the morning peanut eaters. I caught him by putting a few peanuts on the doorstep, some just inside the door and some in the kitchen. He just walked straight in, I shut the door quickly and caught him. He is none the worse and still comes each morning to eat peanuts from my hand (since then I've caught and ringed another - Bianco - green ring)
At night now Jose goes in the hutch and seems to have accepted the situation and doesnt look longingly at the cote, and Omo is on the nest. Females always do the long night shift! Flash doesnt stay the night, which is strange considering there is plenty of space in other compartments of the cote.
Tuesday 14th June - Hugo the jackdaw has been with us for one week today! See photo at the top of the blog. We celebrated by giving him a shiny yellow ring.
He has definitely got bigger in the last week and so I took the box out of his garden cage to give him more room and made him a perch by poking my mother's old cobweb duster stick through his cage (that would've made her chuckle!)
It was a lovely warm day and Flash had a bath while his wife, Omo, was sitting on their eggs. His mistress, Jose, sat on the bath rim and watched him! Flash definitely considers Jose his property. Naughty Chocolate Brownie was courting her again, and Flash saw him off in no uncertain terms! When he's in the garden he spends most of his time with her, and saves her from hassle, but the chancers are always there when he has to go back to nest duty.
Flash on left, Jose on the right
I mostly go to Claremont National Trust garden on Tuesdays to see the flock of doves there and walk round the lake. I take up a bucket of grain and peanuts for them. You can see from the photo that the doves have a lot of competition for the food!
I saw one particular dove first at the lakeside where a mother and small child were feeding the ducks with bread, and this one was at their feet trying to get any falling crubs. It was the only dove there, and I thought then that it had a brown face, almost rusty looking. I threw it a few grains and then walked round to where the main flock normally comes down to feed. The doves quickly surround me and then I noticed the brown face dove again. It was reacting much more slowly than the other doves and I realised it must have had a horrific injury to its face as the brown was actually blood! Up close, I could see one of its eyes was closed too and it was in a dreadful state. I easily picked it up, it felt quite cold in my hands, and I put it in my flat-bottomed hessian bag and left the garden immediately to drive straight home. The dove stayed quietly in the bottom of the bag. Once at home I wrapped it in a towel so I could examine its face. Not a pretty sight.
Maybe she flew slap bang into something? I do know from my St John Ambulance days that a small amount of blood smeared around can look pretty worrying but is in fact only from a small injury, and where there's life there's hope!
I bathed the dove's closed eye and offered it a drink by gently dipping its beak into a deep pot of water. After a few tries, it ook a sip or two, and I thought, good! Like Jose (also rescued from Claremont) it was choosing to live! I ringed it with a red ring, and called her Rusty.
She stayed there for a very long time but when something happened to make the doves take flight from the lawn, she flew up to the top of the dovecote and from there to the roof, where she stayed all day.
Rusty on top of the cote - you can just see Flash or Omo inside