Monday, 18 February 2013

Santa's getting there.....Cloud isn't

Monday 11 Feb. 13

Another young pigeon turned up today, still with the wispy yellow down on it's head as you can see in the photo - it's the one in the middle.

It's good to see that this young pigeon has hatched and been fed through the last couple of months despite the bad weather. In the photo below, it feeds along side my Autumn (Sky and Summer's offspring and an older sister of Santa's). You can see the size difference - Autumn is approx 7 months and the young one probably newly emerged from the nest and maybe 30-40 days old.
My other new young one - Sparky - has gone up in the pecking order, and now dives straight into the food, picking up large grains and peanuts. He is very touchable-looking - fluffier than the one above - but I doubt I will get the chance to stroke him! I couldn't even get a photo today - he was dodging in and out like Georgie Best!
Santa did something new today..... when she comes in (when she decides it's the end of the outside day) she used to just walk into the kitchen and go under the table- and I'd have to get her out from there, and then she started hopping up the step from kitchen into the sitting room, and flapping about in there, as she can't remember her way to the conservatory, but today, she hopped up onto my arm and was regally carried to her box! Well done, Santa!
I was in the sitting room and took a photo of her coming up the step....

 Tue 12th Feb - Today I tried to introduce Santa to the idea that the wooden supports of the porch would be a good place to perch if she needed shelter and I wasn't around to let her in.

She stayed up there for enough time for me to take the photos, but wasn't impressed, and flew off to the roof. Hopefully she would remember it was there, in time of need!

Wed 13th Feb 13 - I had a dilemma this morning as I was leaving the house at 8.00am and wouldn't be back til 4pm - should I put Santa out or not? I decided not to - I felt a day in the conservatory wouldn't harm her and would be a lot better for my peace of mind. I shut Cloud into her crate, but Santa was allowed to be free. I put things for her to do!!! - I left my two silver 'chime' balls on the table - as she likes shiny things (the angel chimes have been packed away) - and a few small plastic toys and bits for her to investigate, plus a pot of pink powder vitamins, as she enjoys those. I also put a bath on the floor in case she fancied a dip! When I got home, she was up on the metal rods that support the roof, and the room was still in one piece! She had knocked the roll of kitchen paper onto the floor but everything was otherwise ok. I couldn't get her down from the 'rafters' easily - she is getting more grown-up, more feisty and less baby-tame (which is a good thing of course) but she seemed cross that she had been enclosed all day. Eventually I managed to lay hands on her, and brought her down for a feed. Then she voluntarily went into her box. I usually put both her and Cloud to bed around 5pm, but by then she had flown up to the metal rod again. At first I thought well you can stay there for the night, and I arranged newspaper underneath to save me cleaning the floor in the morning, but after I had sorted Cloud out, it seemed very cold and I thought no, I'd rather you were in your box as usual - which would make it easier for me in the morning, so I stood on a chair and fetched her down, and she allowed me to do so. In the morning, I plan to give her a few peanuts as usual for brekkie, and without letting her go - I don't want her to fly up to the top in the conservatory again! - I will take her outside, as per the usual day, and release her there.
Thursday - The doves wish you a Happy and Loving Valentines Day! Someone sent me a truly lovely dovie Valentine picture (was it you S?) and I thought I'd saved it to put up today, but I can't find it - sorry! Here's another one instead.....ah, bless!
 It all went to plan with Santa first thing this morning, and she seemed very relieved to be out with the flock. Today is very pleasant, mild and sunny, whereas yesterday was chilly and gloomy so I'm glad that today's the day she is out and not in!
I forgot to mention that for the last few days an injured (un-ringed) white dove has been coming in the afternoons. May be the result of a hawk attack, but obviously I don't know for sure. It is coping well, and the injury seems to be healing. This is the only evidence of a possible hawk attack that I have seen this year - touch wood! Another thing I've been meaning to mention is that Santa seems to be having her first moult - there are lots of little baby feathers floating about in her box and on the floor, and one or two of the primary feathers. I'm assuming it's about the right age - according to my pigeon bible 'Feral Pigeons' - the moult starts at about 50 days old. Well Santa's over 60 now... must be about 66 days old or so.
It was a bit of a struggle getting Santa in tonight, but eventually she came through the kitchen door, and I shut it behind her. Hubbie had already come in, and when Santa flew into the sitting room and started flapping about, he got annoyed as he doesnt like birds in the house and out of control! Honestly, men! - it was only for a few minutes. I had to catch her with the net though, which probably stressed her out - but once I'd untangled her, I kept her wrapped in a small towel, gave her some food and water and immediately locked her in her box for the night. Lucky though, he will be away for the weekend so I will have 2 or 3 nights without him here at her 'in' time, so it doesnt matter if she flies around! But I think my best bet for getting her in might be to put her box just inside the open door and she could walk straight into that - then I'd carry her through to the conservatory. Seems like a plan!
Fri 15th - Today is also a fine day, and Santa took another step forward - quite a significant one! She actually picked up and ate a small pea! Now this might not seem much of an achievement but so far the only other things I have seen her eat - on her own - have been not much bigger than a dot - like this.....

She can pick up grain (and other things, like the angel chime pieces!) but she has always dropped them. Sometimes she will try again - drop it - try again....til she gets bored, but I've never seen her manage to eat them. I know she can swallow them of course, as I hand-feed her quite large grains, maize and peanuts. My aim is to get her eating proper food on her own before I go away mid-April, so... well done Santa, keep it up!
The size of pea she ate on her own......

It's bright and mild again, and I love to see her up on the roof, enjoying herself. Here she's on the left with either Sky or Bianca2 on the right - I can't tell which from the photo, though I can if they are on the ground. Both have one blue ring (which was silly of me)

When I think of the two poor little scraps that I brought into the kitchen when Sky left them that time, and my dreadful fear that they were dead, I think I can give myself a  little pat on the back for helping to rear Santa - and in fact, Sky and Summer, if it wasn't for me, both your little winter babies would be dead.
I went out shopping and when I came back, the bath water was dirty - again! - and I think Santa was one of the bathers. She was on the roof looking a bit wet .....

Cloud achieved something today too - for the first time I saw her drinking out of her water pot! Since I have had her in - 2 months now - I have offered her a drink 3 times a day - first thing in the morning, at the afternoon feed and just before I put her to bed, but I have never seen her drink unaided. She has two pots of water in her crate, changed daily - one a ramekin dish and the other a large jamjar with a fairly wide open top as I thought this might be easier for her - and that was the one she drank out of. There is no other improvement though, and there really should be by now. But I have read that some PMV patients never get totally well and are unreleasable.

White dove with paramyxovirus

 If this happens Cloud will have to live in the hutch in the summer months, with the wire box up. I would always bring her in at night as I will never leave another bird in the hutch or the run at night ever again -  after poor Bobbie was eaten by the fox (obviously the ones in the dovecote are safe).
Here, Santa is on the right and her mother, Summer on the left. From this picture you can see the difference between a mature female and a juvenile. I don't know how old Summer is, but she was obviously an adult last summer when she and Sky first set up home in my dovecote. The eggs that they are sitting on now are their 6th set!

Santa, on the roof, deciding if it is time to come in!

 At bedtime Santa didn't walk into her box as planned - she walked past it and came into the sitting room, then turned round and walked outside again. Hubbie wasn't here or he would've been complaining about the loss of heat from the house with the door open! Eventually she came in, and I was able to give her a hand feed, but this is getting harder now. I still feel I must feed her so she doesnt lose strength - she is still a skinny little thing. I've now decided the best thing to do is open the kitchen door, shut the sitting room door and catch her in the kitchen to carry her through.
Sat. 16th - I caught Santa easily in the kitchen at bedtime - carried her through - gave her a few peanuts - and she went into her box - but I forgot to shut her in so after a while she flew up to the roof of the conservatory. I really wondered whether I should just leave her there, as another step in the growing up process, but ..... it's still cold at night, the conservatory is ever so cold and I was going out.... so I stood on a chair and got her down, and as usual she went in her box, moved to the spare room.
Sun. 17th - Mr. Sunshine has abandoned the finished nest that he made in January at the back of the cote and has started making another in one of the side boxes. I don't know if he is still with Miss Tina or not as she is an unringed white dove. A pair of pigeons are also showing an interest in the bottom left box.

You can see the other one, probably the female, in the photo below, peeking out...

Although I don't particularly want pigeons in the cote, as I originally wanted to focus on white doves, I don't mind that much and if one makes a nest I would be pleased to have baby pidgies! Sky and Summer are very relaxed about all the comings and goings - Flash my daddy bird of 2011 would never have allowed it. The cote was his - all of it! - no matter than he was only using one room! He wouldn't allow anyone else to set foot on it. Flash was very much beloved by me, and missed (he died Jan. 2012). And where is Happy? and October? Lesa? Fennie? The doves come and go, and many must die away from the garden and I never know what has happened to them. But some do come back in the summer, and it's always lovely to see an old friend.
Talking about old friends, I saw a special friend of mine the other night, and she gave me a small dove ornament - it had been one of those 'I saw this and thought of you' moments. I will keep it to remind me of baby Snow.

I'm often given dovie things, and collect them myself in a haphazard way. I like dove jewellery and mother of pearl - not to wear, just to have!

 And doves on postcards and religious cards......
At Christmas, the lovely Laura, painted me a picture of my dove Faith, now sadly died....
I'll show some more of my dovie things next time.
Monday 18th Feb 13 - The friend who gave me the little dove ornament above put a picture on my FB timeline. I don't 'do' FB at all - even though I have a profile - but she sends me something occasionally - and here we are in tune, yet again, as it was exactly the same monkey cuddling dove photo that I put on this blog!
In the photos below, one of the pigeons I've mentioned before - Tricoleur, Tricky for short - has a bath in the early morning.

Tricky is very recognisable - with little 'snowflakes' on his head and a beautiful colour combination in his feathers.

Late afternoon - the doves all flew off, Santa with them, and I took a photo of the empty roof..... but when I got it on the computer, I saw a little figure.... Santa had come back just as I snapped the photo!
And then she alighted on the lawn, near the back door..... and eventually came in.... but for how much longer?

To be cont.............

1 comment:

Fennie said...

I so wish Fennie would come back. I thought it would be around February 15th but we are the 19th now and you haven't seen anything. Still we must hope. I do hope Santa appreciates all you do.