I have not seen Summer, my previous mummy dove, for a couple of days now. I don't know if she will ever come back, but if she does she will always get a big peanut welcome from me - missing you already, Summer. In the photo below you can see a few doves and pigeons on the top of the roof, and who is that tucked away down under the tiles, in the gutter?
Fennie (dark) and Dolly in their nestbox. See how subtly pretty Fennie's markings are - his wings look like brown lace has been laid over grey satin. Dolly, pure white all over I think, seems to have a very large beak for her age! They are about 30 days old, so could fledge anytime now
Sun. 9th June 13 - This morning at the early feed I couldn't see Lucky anywhere - mind you there are an enormous number of doves and pigeons at that time to look at! Eventually I saw him with another female dove - not Charm of course as she is sitting on their eggs!! - anyway, he wasn't just flirting with this other female, he was 'driving' her which is the expression for when a male pigeon has set his heart on a female and continually chases her until she gives in and agrees to be his mate. I am hoping that Lucky was just chasing and not driving, as he needs to concentrate on the female he already has, plus his two babies, Fennie and Dolly, AND the new eggs!! (Lucky pleeease don't turn into another Sky!)
I was out very early so didn't see anything that went on til I arrived back at midday. There are always some birds around whatever time of day it is, so I threw some grains, and suddenly I spotted a funny little dark grey ringed pigeon on the lawn. I racked my brains trying to remember if I had ringed a bird.... and forgotten the ring combo when I realised...... it was baby Fennie! He had fledged all by himself and there he was, on the lawn! What a big boy!
I wondered how long he had been out, and how well he could fly, but he proved it to me very shortly by flying - very well for a fledgling - to the roof. Well done Fennie! After that I went to check the nest box and baby Dolly was still sitting inside - she is obviously the younger sibling.
During the afternoon I noticed Lucky looking after Fennie - what a good daddy he is. He had abandoned the female of the moment/morning, and was concentrating on Fennie.
Liberty, on the left, wishes that her daddy, Sky, had loved her like Fennie's daddy loves him!
Lucky lovingly pecks at his baby, with two of the heavy guys either side!
Of course I started to worry about what would happen at bedtime. Would Fennie return to his nestbox? Would Lucky stay with him - and prevent Destiny and Liberty using the cote? Hubbie wasn't there for the evening, so I put a jacket on and ate my supper outside so I could observe the birds. Fennie didn't come down to the lawn but I was pleased to see Lucky feed him (although I didn't see him feed Dolly, but I have to trust he has not forgotten her tucked away in the cote). At about 7.05pm Fennie settled in the grassy nest in the gutter, under the tiles that are slightly jutting out - it's a nice little place, cosy and with some protection too. (Won't be there for long as soon as the roofers start unfortunately. If you didn't read my previous blog you won't know, but the roof is going to be done and there is nothing I can do about it). Lucky came to inspect his baby's new bedroom and seemed to approve. He sat there with Fennie for a while, fed him again, and then went and sat on the top of the roof, with Destiny and Liberty, and a random pigeon or two.
See how tiny Fennie looks in the photo below in his grassy nest
At 7.18pm Lucky flew off for the night, and Destiny and Liberty went with him..... but they were only pretending so that Lucky wouldn't know what they were up to! 2 minutes later exactly they were back on the roof again, and at about 7.50pm put themselves to bed in the cote. I checked Fennie as it got dusk, and he seemed fine, his darkness blending into the roof.When he was in the cote I could hardly see him sometimes, whereas Dolly glows like a pearl.
Monday 10th June 13 - The roofers haven't turned up (hooray!) - but we were told Monday or Tuesday. I hope something happens to delay the start. Fennie is fine - in the early morning he was sitting on the ridge of the roof with the other birds, but when Lucky went to do nest duty, he put himself in his little bedroom to wait for daddy. I still don't know if Dolly is being fed, - it's really difficult knowing what's going on at the back of the cote. I imagine she will fledge in a day or so but I am a bit concerned about her. I confess I took her out of the nestbox and gave her a feed. It won't hurt her if she is being fed, and will keep her going if she isn't! She fluttered out of the kitchen where I had her positioned on my lap for the feed, and into the sitting room, so I took a photo of her there for you all, but especially for Jane (Hopeinparis).
Below - more cuddles for little Fennie from daddy Lucky
Fennie again spent the night on the roof - not even in his little bedroom but just snuggled down in the gutter, though he started off in his bedroom as you can see from the photos below. Destiny and Liberty spent the night in the cote as usual and I did feel a bit guilty that my big babies, aged 54 days were snug in the cote, while younger Fennie, only 32 days old, was outside. But luckily it's mild and dry at the moment.
Tuesday 11.6.13 - The roofers still haven't turned up but electrical work is going on inside the building - weird, you would imagine the roof would be the first thing. Maybe it won't get done after all. Dolly came out onto her little ledge, and hovered there. It's time she fledged - Fennie fledged two days ago. Come on Dolly! The trouble with a nest at the back of the cote is that it faces the yard, and Dolly can't see what the other birds are doing. I am pretty sure she will be out tomorrow - she seems an enormous baby! I gave her another top up feed, and offered her some water as I still haven't seen Lucky or Charm feeding her. They probably are - but I am used to Sky's shenanigans and would rather give her some extra - just in case.
Here Fennie comes down to the lawn and valiantly tries to eat a peanut.
Sprightly little bird, isn't he?
There was a sweet little grey pigeon around today, limping. Well not even limping, just somehow managing on one leg. I called him Cassidy and did attempt to catch him to see if I could help, but wasn't able to. He can fly reasonably well, but I have a horrible feeling his leg is severed - very grim! If it is, I don't suppose he will live long, poor little thing. When he was down on the lawn I made sure he had plenty of peanut granules to eat as he couldn't manage the larger nuts - I think he is only young. He stayed around right until the end of the day.
It's tiring managing with only one leg - Cassidy sits down to rest
Here's Lucky and Fennie on top of the cote at the end of the day, but Fennie ended up spending the night, as before, on the roof - his third night out.
|Lucky - king of the cote|
Lucky had tried to get Fennie to enter the cote with no success. He was also preventing Destiny and Liberty going to bed, by routing them out every time they entered their chosen quarters, but somehow Liberty managed to get in at the side after a while, un-noticed that time, and I nipped out and blocked the entrance so Lucky couldn't get her out. Eventually, it was dark and Lucky flew away, and I really thought this time that Destiny would have to sleep elsewhere, but at 9.10pm as I was sitting here in the sitting room with my lap top - and I can see the cote out of my peripheral vision - there was a flutter of white wings, and Destiny - having foiled Lucky yet again! - flew into the side of the cote.
Wed. 12.6.13 - Early morning - Cassidy survived the night wherever he spent it, and was here this morning. All I can do for him is try to make sure he gets enough food, but at present he is still scared and will flutter away when food is directly thrown near him. Dolly fledged and was out and about, but I am worried that Lucky doesn't really know her, and maybe won't attend to/feed her
Later this afternoon - I didn't get home til 4pm and it's been a gloomy, rainy afternoon. Lucky was with both his babies so that was a relief.
Above - Lucky is the white dove on the left, little grey Fennie in the middle and Dolly on the right. She seems larger than Fennie, though is possibly the younger sibling.
Below - the young birds at the end of the day. Lucky left early, and they all had to cope alone. The little huddle on the right is Fennie, Dolly, Cassidy (I'm glad he's got some friends!) and then Destiny and Liberty, though I don't know which is which!
Fennie, Dolly, Cassidy close up
Below - eventually Dolly and Fennie sit on top of the cote, with one of Dessy/Libby on the side
My older babies again spent the night, dry and comfortable, but silly little Dolly is sitting on top of the cote, in the dark and the rain, as I type and Fennie has returned to the gutter. Why on earth didn't they return to their nestbox? I don't know where Cassidy has gone to, but suspect just around the roof somewhere close. I feel desperately sorry for Cassidy - I caught more of a glimpse of his leg today and it really does seem as though, somehow, in some horrible accident, he has lost most of his leg! But I couldn't see well enough to really tell, and there is nothing I can do for him, except always try to make sure he gets fed.
Thurs. 13.6.13 - Windy day, but fairly quiet here. Nothing has happened about the roof. All birds accounted for. Cassidy seems to be surviving - if he lives another day then I will be more hopeful if will survive. I have a 3 day rule - if an ill or injured bird survives three days then they often go on to be perfectly ok. Cassidy is such a plucky little pidgie, I truly hope he makes it. Here he is on the table - looking fairly normal. When he moves around, he sometimes uses his wings as crutches, to manoeuvre himself.
Tonight, Fennie and Dolly stayed together on top of the cote. I had a scout round later with a torch and saw that at least one of the older babies - probably Liberty - was in the cote, but the other boxes seemed unoccupied - except for Charm of course.So it looks like Destiny has joined the others, wherever they roost. I walked round the back of the buildings nearby, but couldn't see Cassidy anywhere. I hoped he would roost close to the cottage, to save himself effort.
Friday 14th June 13 - Another nice quiet dovie day. The workmen next door are getting on with various tasks in and out of the building, but no mention of the roof. All birds present and correct. Neither Fennie nor Dolly came down from the roof all day. In the next few photos you see how they follow Lucky about - when he's not on nest duty - and beg for food. He is a good father. Now I've got him I realise more and more how dreadful Sky was, and how stressful I found it, always worrying if the babies had been fed - which more often than not they hadn't been!
Crippled Cassidy continues to manage with only one leg - well he has no choice! I love him to bits already! But he is still nervous of me, and won't let me get close. His leg seems severed above the top joint - maybe he was hatched like that, but more likely a cat or something got hold of him......
|Cassidy, pigeon with only one leg|
Destiny and Liberty, now about 58 days old, are still close, and here snuggle up together in the sun, with the slates warm beneath them. Both very pretty birds.
And funny little Fennie goes back to his grassy bedroom under the broken tiles
A beautiful new young dovie-pigeon turned up today - hope she stays a regular
And not long after that Lucky brought his babies down to the lawn. Most of the flock had left so they had a nice quiet mooch around, pecking at the small grains I threw for them specially. I either buy, or separate out, a quantity of small grains so I have them ready for the young doves and pigeons. It takes them a while before they can get to grips with big grains, peas and peanuts. Destiny still can't eat a whole peanut! Liberty can though - she's a canny young bird. Eating big peanuts, and popping into the cote at night is keeping her safe, and big and strong!!!
Liberty again put herself to bed in the side of the cote. Destiny obviously went off with the others like yesterday. I imagined that Fennie and Dolly would perch on top of the cote, but they seemed unsettled and kept moving around - once going over to the hutch to investigate. Then all of a sudden, Dolly plunged down and forced her way in with Charm. Now I know Charm's her mother, but when a lady is sitting on eggs she doesn't want a big teenage baby trying to share her bedroom. I saw this happening from inside, and rushed out to remove Dolly and block her into a compartment so she couldn't try the same trick again. I'd just returned to the house, when Fennie did exactly the same thing! By this time, Charm had fluffed herself up in anger into a great white puff-ball! I put Fennie in with Dolly and replaced the barrier - I hope they learn that this will be a good place to spend the nights, though why on earth they didn't just go back into their old nestbox at the back beats me! This is Fennie's first night back in the cote since he fledged on Sunday (so 5 nights out). I will unblock F and D, and Libby before I go to bed so I don't have to get up at the crack of dawn!
Saturday 15.6.13 - Windy rainy, not very pleasant for June day. I don't think I have seen Destiny and he didn't spend the night in the cote, so I am a bit concerned.
Later - By 4pm Destiny was back and blummin' hungry Mother! I have never seen him eat so much!
Lucky collected more sticks which Charm duly pulled in and arranged. He probably did this because the eggs are due to hatch on Wednesday or thereabouts, and he wants the nestbox to be specially warm and nice! I am worried because we have to have the hedge cut and it will upset them. I am trying to get hubbie to see the doves point of view!
An interloper tried to make him or herself at home in the cote, but Lucky sorted them out. The dove was insistent but Lucky was determined - no room at the inn! (even though there is!)
Fennie, Dolly and Cassidy are my main little pets at the moment. In the photo below Fennie and Cassidy cuddle up to each other on the roof (top of the roof, left) - it looks like one bird almost but it is two little ones!
My blog reader Fennie has been looking after an abandoned young magpie that would've fallen prey to the cat if left in the garden. Fennie has done a marvellous job looking after baby Squawk, and now has had to pass the little one over to someone else to look after as a trip to France was planned. Well done Fennie! and if you want to read more about the trials and tribulations of feeding a baby that doesn't want to eat..... then go to Purplecoo (you might even want to join - it's a wonderful site for like-minded souls!) - http://www.purple.dreamhosters.com/common/index.php?blog=17207
Tonight, bedtime went smoothly. Young Dolly and Fennie had learned in one day which compartment I wanted them to spend the night in - and trooped in like meek little lambs! So clever! I blocked them in with a small dish of tiny grains and peanut nibbles (which I removed after half an hour). Liberty again went to her usual place, and no-one disturbed Mrs. Charm on her eggs. Bliss!
To be cont...