Sunday, 16 March 2014

Moppet's story continues, Echo surprises me - and Snow White has news.....

Sat 1st March – Adorable little Moppet is coping really well – I want to pick her up and kiss her! But I certainly wouldn’t be able to catch her as she seems to have perked up in the 3 days since I released her last Thursday. Here she is on the roof with the pigeons she seems to live with.

 So tiny and sweet!

Sun 2nd March – I went out to the shed kitchen early this morning and this is where I feed Loopy, our adopted cat, and where hubbie saw the fox not so long ago. Loopy’s biscuit bowl was completely empty (which it never is, even when Bertie’s been stealing some) and pushed round the room, making me think maybe the fox came back. This not very exciting happening was on my mind when I went into the spare bedroom to get the homies ‘up’ and I discovered to my horror that the grille was not on Echo’s box and it was empty – no Echo!! Strange thoughts of the fox stealing Echo went through my mind, but reason said that this was not possible! I soon found Echo crouching on the floor under the shelf, poor thing! What a way to spend the night – but in fact perfectly safe. Later on, Cissie managed to escape out of her daytime arrangements, by ducking under the draped cloth.

She doesn’t have a totally secure crate like Echo as I haven’t got another one, and he was there first. She is in an metal grille sort of old-fashioned carrier, with the back open to another box for her to hide or rest in. Here she is before I put her back, and stopped the gap with a box. That’s the first cheeky thing she has ever done! (Echo is cheeky all the time!)  I saw Moppet again today – and Big Boy – and was very pleased to see my other ‘poorly beak’ pigeon, Pandora! (she doesn’t come every day). Moppet is still managing  – her foot seems less crumpled but one of her eyes is slightly closed. I don’t really know what is wrong with her but she is a brave little thing, making the best of it.

3.3.14 – From about 11am on I am watching out for Moppet, and she did eventually arrive by about 1.30pm thank goodness. She looks more bedraggled every day, but still manages to get something to eat. If I get the chance to capture her again, I don’t think I would be inclined to let her go in a hurry – I wish I’d kept her. But maybe I am worrying unnecessarily – maybe the flock she lives with doesn’t live too far away, and maybe she does get enough to eat...... My camera has died, so I can't take photos which is very annoying. I am trying to find another one the same from ebay or somewhere.
Tuesday 4.3.14 – Something happened this morning which I hadn’t intended and was rather surprising and disconcerting! The flock arrived....was fed....I fed Cloud and put her in the hutch...then Echo is next. I had him in my hands wrapped in a cloth, about to feed him in the kitchen, when I noticed Big Boy was back on the lawn with only a few other pigeons, so I thought I’d give him a bit extra when there was less competition as he still finds it hard to pick up food in one go. There had been a light frost but already the sun was coming out quite brightly, so I put Echo down on the grass for a few minutes while I fed Big Boy. Ungrateful BB soon flew away, and so I went to get the net as I knew I couldn’t pick up Echo without it – he can run too fast! Echo ran hither and thither, making little fluttery jumps into the air and sometimes going quite high.....he rose higher and I lowered the net as I didn’t want him to panic into flying or fluttering near the river side of the garden....and then suddenly he seemed to gather all his resources and flew up and away, reasonably well, to the roof! I couldn’t believe it and I don’t think he could either! He looked amazed! This is the first time he has been so high and so free since I brought him in as a pathetic little half-starved scrap on 19th December – 75 days ago! But this was not the way I meant to release him, and he hadn’t had any breakfast, and I don’t think still can’t feed himself properly, although there has always been food in his cage for his to experiment with, and I have seen him trying. Lucky and a few others came to the roof, so he wasn’t alone – and then a male pigeon turned up...and I think Echo might be a she...but he can stay he for now or it’s too confusing! (I’ve already changed his sex once!) This all happened before 8am and by 9am the pigeons had all left the roof, taking Echo with them. Obviously the idea was for Echo to recover and be released and I knew when I took him out every afternoon that he was getting better at flying but yesterday he didn’t show signs that he would be able to fly to the roof (never assume!) – I can only hope that he will stay with the flock and come back later to eat.  Cissie looked very much alone in the conservatory.....I have empty nest syndrome!!!!
Lunchtime – plenty of doves and pigeons, but no Echo. I fear I have probably lost him forever. No doubt the flock would head off to some farmer’s field, and he might not have the strength to rise up from the ground again, or keep up with the others. I checked back to one of my old blogs about Flash to see how long I kept him in when he had paramyxovirus. He was my daddy dove of the time and a great favourite – probably my favourite dove ever. He developed PMV and I caught him on 29.10.11 and confined him until he was well enough to be re-released which was on 26.12.11 – a total of 58 days. Echo had 75 days, but Flash was an adult male, and very strong – so in the time Echo was in with PMV he was also developing and growing up. After release, Flash had 20 days of freedom before the hawk ended his life – I do hope Echo has a least a few days before something happens to him. I don’t think he can feed himself well enough to survive, but you never know. He was such a baby when I brought him in, and probably now institutionalised..... Oh dear, I am so sorry Echo, this wasn’t how it was meant to be!
 Moppet managed to arrive again and through the course of the afternoon probably got enough to eat – she seems very small and fragile to me and I want to help her so much! When I see her on the lawn I go out and edge towards her but I haven’t had the chance to pick her up again, and daren’t wield the net for fear of frightening her. It’s more important that she eats than I try to catch her. I hope she can continue to struggle on – she’s such a sweetie, so much smaller than the others, though I assume an adult as she doesnt look like a juvenile.
Although the day was fine, I brought Cloud in to the conservatory to spend time near Cissie, so she wouldn’t be lonely now her noisy, cheerful room-mate has gone.
As the dovie day ended I looked out many times to see if Echo had returned to the roof, but he hadn’t. I try not to blame myself and if I had not brought him in in the  first place, before Christmas, he would’ve died anyway. Like a foster mother, I have to let go....but it’s hard not knowing where your baby is spending the night, or even if.... well, you know..... I can't dwell on it. I went out searching for him, but with no luck.
This evening I cleaned out Echo’s crate, ready for Cissie to ‘move house’ tomorrow. It will give her more space and be secure, which her current arrangement is not. If Echo was to return, and need to come in again, then I will go back to plan A.  I am a little sad about Echo.....
Wed 4.3.14 – It is now a week since I caught Moppet and brought her in for one night’s feeding up, rest and recuperation. Today I didn’t see her, so it’s likely she’s died – especially as last night the temperature went down to nearly freezing and it was frosty this morning. She did amazingly well and I’ll miss her. Echo hasn’t been seen either, and I didn’t really expect to see him. The human world makes allowances for special needs; nature does not. Oh Echo, you silly thing, you didn’t know where you were well off.....I just have to NOT think about what might have happened to him, but I do hope he enjoyed his short time of freedom..
Thurs 5.3.14 – There are a pair of white doves billing and cooing, and mating, on the roof. They pop in and out of Lucky and Charm’s front nest box, but as L and C are not around much nothing is said about it! Unfortunately Bertie has been here this morning and he is rather off-putting. I’ll take him home soon but I do hope that his visits don’t mean that I won’t have any baby doves this summer. Snow White cannot understand where Rose Red is (for any new readers, she was killed by the hawk a few weeks ago). He keeps coming to the cote, and saying ‘Here I am – where are you?’  So I have put him on my Dovie Dating Site ‘ Handsome snow white dove, widower of this parish, of proven fertility and part owner of bijou white riverside residence, is keen to meet pretty young lady dove, for meetings and hopefully more!’
Fri 6.3.14 – I have brought some hay in from the shed, where I keep it, to dry out thoroughly in a bag over the aga. Then I will add some to the nesting boxes as the doves are often not terribly good at making nests. They can always chuck it out if they don’t like it. The pair of white doves spend time in the cote but so far show no signs of nesting. The yard is far busier than it was a while ago, and this might put the birds off – as well as Bertie! But I wonder if the instinct to nest is stronger? Hubby has an old Jag that is SORN at the moment and I am going to see if I can persuade him to park it alongside the cote which means that no-one else can park there, so any noisy cars/people pulling up will be just that one step removed from the cote.
I hadn't seen Moppet for two days but suddenly at lunchtime, there she was on the roof! Oh sweetest Moppet - I thought you were dead! When she came down to eat I could see she was worse and unable to pick up any food at all.....oh dear! I then spent the whole afternoon popping in and out, trying to catch her without frightening her. Oh Lord, I prayed, please let me have my little Moppet so I can feed her and look after her. Five or six times I went out there, with the net hidden behind my back - it is sooo painful to watch a much loved little dovie desperately trying to eat, running about the lawn in the search of the perfect grain that maybe, this time, she can pick up! I lit my special dove candle - keep calm and pray. I determined that I would catch her, I had to catch her! And today would be the last time because if she flew away with the others, having not eaten, and in such poor shape, she would surely die. Every single time any doves or pigeons came down to the lawn during the afternoon, so did pathetic little Moppet, trying to eat. Eventually at 4pm I brought the net down on her, and she was mine again! I gave her no chance to escape, wrapped her in a cloth and started to feed her when we were safely in the kitchen. Feeding Moppet was nothing like feeding Big Boy - she was probably less than half his weight, and so delicate but I fed her a good quantity, gave her a drink and settled her down in the box I had ready. Thank you Lord for giving me Moppet back - I wouldve been so sad if she had flown away.

Sat 8.3.14 – When I have a poorly one I am always apprehensive going in in the mornings, but Moppet survived the night and I fed her first thing. She seems no worse than yesterday, but that’s not very good anyway. When the conservatory had warmed up a bit I moved her into the open wire old fashioned carrier that Cissie was in while I had Echo. I made her a hot-water bottle and a nice little bed, and arranged it, away from Cissie’s potential germs, looking out onto the garden, with a cloth draped over the back to shield her from the sun now streaming in. At present she will be on a 3 hourly feeding schedule – so I fed her 7.30am and again at 10.30am. She drinks alone from her little water bowl and totters around the box. There is absolutely no way she is fit to be allowed out though she can probably still fly.
Later – 1.30pm fed Moppet again. She won’t stay still in the little beddies I made for her but lurches around the container, spilling her water. I keep expecting her to die at any moment she looks so poorly. One half closed eye, half opened beak, one limp, weak foot, and bedraggled dirty tail feathers – but I love her to bits! When the sun went off the conservatory but was still in the garden I took her container outside and put it on top of the hutch so she could enjoy the sun on what will probably be one of her last few days, if not her last.
Moppet had another feed at 4.30pm, wrapped in a little cloth and then as she seemed a bit chilly I wrapped her in a small red fleece blanket and cuddled her on my lap for a while. I think if hubby hadnt been around I wouldve cuddled her all evening! Because of the lack of a camera I've been unable to take photos, but I remembered I had got one (I won it and have never used) out of the cupboard and managed to get it going.  At about 5pm I settled her for the night with the snugglesafe hot water bottle, and the box draped with plenty of blankets to try to keep her warm. Here’s Moppet, you can see how poorly she is..... what you can’t see is how small she is, and what a little soldier she’s been.
Will she still be alive in the morning....? I fear not.....

Sunday 9.3.14 – Moppet had moved out of her nice nest-bed and died against the grille of the night-box. There was blood on her wing and I don’t know how she had managed to hurt herself as there are no sharp edges inside the box, and the floor of it was padded nicely. I was saddened but not surprised, and she sailed off down the river with a miniature daffodil under her wing. Rest in Peace, little sweetheart. I will miss you. And I am pleased that I was able to ensure you didnt die hungry.
The flock cheered me up as it was already a beautiful fresh and sunny early morning. They ate then crowded round the communal baths while I fed Cloud. Lucky was there but seemed oblivious of the fact that a pair of white doves were in ‘his’ front nest box. I am not sure if this pair is Snow White and a new lady friend or another pair, but later I definitely saw a white female in the cote and Snow White sitting on the brick on Cloud’s hutch.

 You can just see someone in the cote in the photo above, with Snow White on the brick

Maybe Lucky has given up thought of nesting in the cote this season.....or will there be ructions later. The afternoon was more like June or September rather than March – glorious! I put Cissie outside in a box on top of the hutch to enjoy the sunshine and then when it got cooler moved her back, and brought Cloud in too, as I always try and give them some time together.
Monday 10.3.14 – Nothing much to report – I am glad my 'Moppet worrying' is over, but I miss seeing that little bundle on the roof. She was such a fighter.
Tuesday 11.3.14 – I have ordered a camera from Amazon and hope to be able to take some nice photos soon! Lucky and Charm seem to be going through a ‘trial separation’ or something! I do see them, usually only once a day each, and not together...... I can’t be sorry if they are not going to nest in the cote as I have never had a worse dovie mother than Charm. And I haven’t really forgiven her for leaving those poor little babies in January. Maybe Lucky hasn't either - maybe his instinct told him that it was her fault - and it really was! Snow White on the other hand has good news to report – he has now ‘remarried’ and spends time with his new bride, billing and cooing on the roof. He has also ‘carried her over the threshold’ into the cote, and Lucky has not objected.
Thurs 13.3.14 – Snow White and his bride were in the cote together, busily arranging their front nestbox space. I sneaked up to the cote, moved the steps gently, reached up and put my hand with fingers spread out over the entrance, and had a peep – luckily I could see Snow White’s ring on one leg, so I was able to reach in and take out the female for ringing. It is far easier for me if the doves in my cote are ringed, so I can recognise them – partly for targeting for feed, but mainly so I know if a white dove is going in, it belongs there and is not an intruder! I brought the dove into the kitchen and ringed her with a yellow ring on her right leg. She will be called Star Light – so Snow White and Star Light (Star for short). It only took a minute or two, and then she was set free towards the roof, and I do hope soon forgives me!

Later – it was lovely and sunny again. Snow White and Star Light seemed perfectly happy together, and I’m so glad for SW as he is a lovely, quite tame dove – but I spared a thought for poor young Rose Red, his first little wifey, killed by the hawk right at the beginning of February.

Fri and Sat.14/15th March 14 - Nice and quiet on the dovie front these last couple of days. I've seen Snow White and Star Light mating and they are still in and out the front and back of the cote, unable to decide which nestbox they want, but SW hasnt started collecting sticks for a nest yet.

 Above, a pigeon in courting mode, with SW centre and SL right
 The pigeon decides to try his luck with SL
and follows her down the roof
 Below, Star Light

 Left, Snow White - you can just see his green/pink rings and right, Star Light with one yellow ring
They are in love!

Remember I told you in the last blog that I had ordered something exciting from Australia? Well, the package came a while ago......

And the contents have been waiting on the mantelpiece til I had sorted out my camera. Today I opened my pack of Australian Feather Magic Oracle Cards - created by Geraldine Teggelove. Lovely box - green is my favourite colour!

 Then I took the cards out......
 This is the reverse - stunning I thought

I decided not to go any further at that time, but later on when hubbie was out, I read the booklet. What a wonderful introduction - I hope Geraldine won't mind me copying down for you - 'Remember today to tread softly upon our Mother Earth - see with the eyes of an eagle, hear with the wisdom of the owl, and love with the softness of a feather falling gracefully to the ground'. The new cards should be cleansed by burning white sage and moving the smoke gently around with a feather. I've never done anything like this before - I assume it is 'smudging' which I have heard of. People have bought feathers from my Feather Shop for this purpose. This explains it 'Smudging' - I hadnt got any white sage in the garden, only purple sage, but I went out to pick some leaves, hoping that purple was ok (my intention was good anyway!) It was dark by now but there was a full white moon, so must be auspicious! I burnt the sage in a little bowl, as directed, and waved the smoke gently around with one of my white dove feathers before doing my reading. It smelt lovely! The images on the cards are of real feathers (Australian). Here's my favourite from the pack - Grace. What a gorgeous feather with that glowing green, and distinctive white tip and fluffy base - I wonder which bird it came from?

I will keep the cards on my bedside table for a while. There is a Focus for the Day, where you draw one card to focus on or learn from for that day so I will try to remember to do it. I am not going to allow anyone else to touch my cards so they retain my energy and the energy of the feathers depicted. Find out more about Geraldine Teggelove and the Feather Oracle Cards HERE  I have been in touch with Geraldine and it's a possibility that I might be able to offer the cards in my feather shop -  Groovy Cart Shop Search - this link will take you to the search page. If you want to see my feathers put the word feathers in the 'search for a shop' - but also look at anything else you might like - crafts, dolls, bric a brac, whatever you are into - see if it's on Groovy Cart!

To be cont...


hopeinparis said...

My heartfelt condolences for poor little Moppet, Faith. She was so sweet. I would have done and felt exactly the same as you. But I'm very happy for Snow White and Star Light and hope they will be star parents! I love your new Australian feather cards. Thank you for sharing!
xx Jane

Fennie said...

Sorrow about poor Moppet. But you did the best for her. Hope the new camera works as well as the last one. Maybe the old camera might be revived with a reading from the new feather cards. We look forward to babies, or at least eggs, in the next blog. Here the wood pigeons are cooing
and flying up into the air, stalling and then falling back. No other bird I have seen does that. Do doves do it? Or is it just a 'woodie' thing?