Saturday, 26 April 2014

Countdown to hatching day - Lucky makes it difficult

18.4.14 – Good Friday – I took Bertie straight home when he arrived at the reasonable time of near 9am. His ‘owner’ invited me in for a coffee. I don’t normally knock when I drop him off – just check no cars about and then open the door and off he goes! I also check no people about as I don’t want people to think I am dumping a cat! But today as I am dropping him home daily at the moment, I thought I’d knock and see how she was feeling about the current situation regarding him. She seems to be ok with it, and we had a nice chat.
Neither Big Boy nor Grace turned up for the morning feed, and I was missing them, but they were both there in the afternoon and Grace ate from my hand. Her rings are dirty, so I wonder if she is nesting somewhere..... it wasn’t Destiny after all, it was definitely Grace.
Cloud continues to do her ‘hovering’ flying and it is sweet to see her rise up from the ground, spinning like a baby angel learning to fly, but I do hope it doesn’t get more than that, or I will lose her like I lost Echo. She is not capable of looking after herself in the wild, and I’ve had her as a homie for 16 months now.
I decided to be a girl scout today and ‘be prepared’ in case of problems with the eggs/babies. I ordered a new tub of Kaytee Exact from ebay – this is hand-rearing food for baby birds. Sold for parrots but I believe can be used for any. My last tub had a third left in it, but it’s out of date so maybe not very nutritious now. I made up some balls of it though, so as not to waste it, but the pidgies wouldn’t eat it!!! I also ordered an electric hen! (will show it when I've got it) And lastly I ordered hand-rearing syringes and a pump. Once this lot has arrived, I will feel more confident if I have to take over looking after the little squabs. Once squabs are 2 weeks old then I am fine with hand-feeding them, but this is for babies younger than that. I hope it doesn’t come to that – the stuff is just to be on the safe side. Oh and while searching hand rearing a book popped up – can’t remember the title now but it was only a pound or so and I bought that too! Medihoney Anti-bacterial Wound Gel was another purchase (from Amazon) – I haven’t tried this before at all – it’s for humans but I might be useful for birds too. I will suss it out when it arrives. Snow White – I promise to do everything possible to keep your babies alive!

Easter Sunday 20/4 -  was a rainy day which suited me as I left both homies in the conservatory while I was out visiting my girls, and knew they wouldnt be getting too hot - the homies, not the girls!

Bank Holiday Monday 21.4.14 – Started misty but turned into a sunny day. All was going well until at about 9.30am when I was idly watching for the ‘changeover’ (when SW takes over nest duty and lets Charm go off), I saw the bird in the nest fly out and another go in. Thinking Charm was out I went out to feed her – as she misses the early feed which is now about 6.30-7.00am..... but Charm and SW were both on the ground......and it was Lucky in the nest! I assumed that one of the two parents would quickly rout him out, but they ate and then something or nothing startled them and the few pidgies that were around sending them all flying off.....not to return! Oh dear.... Lucky poked his head out, decided he didn’t want to babysit and flew off too! Oh no, my long awaited eggs now only about 8 days off hatching, have been left on their own! Luckily hubby had just gone off to his workshop so I could fuss and panic alone! I put the feather filled glove over the eggs and waited five minutes but no parents. It is difficult to know how long to wait – possibly they would be alright if left for a while, but I have no idea how long. I removed them from the nest and put them in a tub on the aga with various cloths (and even a beanie baby that a judged a suitable pigeon weight) over them. Then I put 2 plastic eggs in the nest so that a returning parent not spotted by me, would have an incentive to go into the nest.

 Real eggs above, plastic eggs below

As I had the chance, I experimented with putting up the grille for blocking in at night – and Fennie my blog reader’s ideas -  but I was distracted and couldn’t work out a good solution.
I kept watch, remembering how Sky used to leave the eggs.... and near 40 mins later two white doves appeared on the roof. What are you worried about, they seemed to say, it’s a nice day, we just went for a fly together! I dashed out with the eggs (carefully!) and grabbed out the plastics, and replaced the real ones. Seconds later a parent flew in, and settled down. Thankfully! The other stayed on the roof - It was Charm, so SW in the nest, as it should be.
I think I panicked too early – maybe I shouldn’t have brought the eggs in – I hope it didn’t do harm rather than good. I  looked back on my blog about when Grace and Valentine were left in a cold February, but still hatched (with some help from me and the aga!) – it was very stressful for me but makes an interesting read with photos of hatching babies. The mother at that time – Summer – was a good parent and quite tame/tolerant of me. I haven’t reached that stage with Charm or Snow White yet, and not sure how I got there with Summer. Different birds have different personalities and it just evolved.
Tue 22.4.14 – I saw the changeover at 5.10pm this afternoon – Snow White coming off, and Charm going in as usual but at 5.30pm I noticed something strange..... SW was on the ground eating, and TWO white doves were in the nest. Lucky had joined Charm!
He just can’t get used to the idea that this is not his nest. I kept watch and after a while saw Charm on the ground eating, and Lucky in the nest peeking out. SW flew away with the general flock, as usual, but by 6.10pm Lucky was still in there with Charm. Hubbie of course said let them get on with it, but it’s not as simple as that. The eggs are due to hatch in 6 days time and I am really looking forward to having new babies, hopefully, and don’t want anything to go wrong. I am writing this in real time, so am looking out the window and can see Lucky’s head and front body peeking out of the nest, with Charm presumably sitting, somewhat squashed, on the eggs behind him.

I am wishing that he will leave soon and let Charm just sit in peace, but if he doesn’t I am not sure what I will do. And what if he flies off taking Charm with him? It’s the sort of thing she would do..... I am debating whether to approach the nestbox carefully, block it with my hand, chuck him out and block her in for the night, but this is fraught with difficulties and might make things worse – or do I block them both in? Or just leave it.... Well, Lucky left the cote at 6.20pm, flew to the roof and soon flew away. Thank goodness!
Wed. 23.4.14 – A quiet dovie day, but look what I found in my grain bin when I went outside after only popping into the house for a minute!

I am getting more than a bit anxious as we head rapidly towards H Day! (hatching day) – which is Mon. 28th, if I have calculated right.
Thurs 24.4.14 – All seemed well. I saw the changeover at 9.20am, and was able to make sure Charm had grains and peanuts. She’s not my favourite by a long chalk, but she’s the mummy and must be treated as such. So Snow White was on the eggs, and I had nothing to worry about.....until I went outside with keys, shopping bags etc and found a white dove desperately trying to get into the cote, absolutely squeezed up against the entrance, and obviously disputing with the bird inside. From the ground I could see a green ring, which meant either SW or Charm wanted to get in, so why wasn’t the other one letting him/her? I got the camera and took a photo.

I got the steps and took another photo, and could now see SWs pink ring as well as his green one. If Charm was on the nest, which she shouldn’t be at this time, why was she not letting SW in? I knew something was up.....this is not normal behaviour. 

I grabbed a feeder tray which makes a useful blocker-inner and put the steps right under the cote and still SW didn’t move. 

My sixth sense was telling me that somehow Lucky was in the cote..... I grabbed SW, causing a flurry of little white feathers to be lost, and Lucky shot out, then I stuffed SW in and blocked the entrance. Lucky flew to the roof, and me and SW drew breath! When I had grabbed him, his eye looked unusually red, but he does have a pinkish look to the surround of his eyes anyway – I couldn’t, in the circumstances, examine him, but hopefully Lucky hadn’t hurt him or damaged the eggs. I peeked round the side of the block, and could see the eggs which seemed ok. My heart was hammering...... the stress these birds cause me! Lucky sat on the roof looking like butter wouldn't melt!

I do understand Lucky’s point of view, and for all I know he could well have fertilized these eggs, but if Charm says SW’s the daddy then SW IS the daddy, and Lucky can’t sit on the eggs! SW had definitely swapped with Charm, so had Lucky actually routed SW out? I wondered if any of this hassle had gone on yesterday when I was out at this time of day! I left the block up while I went shopping and came back in an hour or so. Oh good, I thought, the roof is empty – maybe I will unblock SW. But then I noticed Lucky sitting in one of the other nestboxes.

I went up the steps gently to observe SW through the mesh of the block and he seemed ok, sitting quietly – though was probably aware of Lucky in another part of the cote. Lucky flew to the roof, and soon flew away entirely but I didn’t unblock SW – he will be on nest duty for quite a while yet and hopefully will not be upset by the block. At least with the block up, I know the eggs are being incubated and no-one can attack SW. My Medihoney Antibacterial Wound Gel arrived from Amazon – I hope I will not have to use it on SW.
Mr. and Mrs. Woodie Duck haven’t been seen for a while, but their neighbours Mr. and Mrs. Mallard turned up for the first time ever today and made themselves quite at home.

Later – I unblocked SW as quietly as I could at 2pm, and he was ok, staying motionless on the eggs. The changeover was at 5.10pm and SW looked fine with no wounds. I did contemplate blocking Charm in, but I will probably have to do that around H day so didn’t want to spook her unnecessarily, and I am here to sort out any problems if Lucky decides to join her tonight. I had to gently remove the steps from under the cote, and that was accomplished without hiccup.
Fri 25.4.14 – Snow White stayed on the cote, guarding it from Lucky, while the other birds fed at the early morning feed – he wouldn’t come down at all.

 Above, SW on the entrance below where Charm is - and below, Lucky peeking out the back of the cote.

Only when eventually Lucky gave in and came to eat, so did SW. I am hoping we won’t have yesterday’s trouble but I have to get my grand-daughter so won’t be able to sort it out..... I will collect her and come back asap! Before I left, this is what Lucky and Charm were doing....

Came back and it all went like a dream come true – immediately I saw one white dove on the eggs, and Lucky and Charm both came down to eat. Super! So I knew it was SW on the eggs, and I crept up to block him in – and then we could both go off to enjoy the morning's Tumble Tots class!
It rained all day and was very miserable so I didn’t unblock SW til 3pm, but had to go off out to take my grand-daughter home, and didn’t get back til near 7pm. What I wanted to see when I got back was a calm garden and Charm in the cote..... what I actually did see was a calm garden and a rather full looking nestbox.... was that one bird in there or two?

Oh dear me, it was two..... but as I watched them, one merged to the front and I thought maybe it (or they) are hungry, so I threw down grain and Charm flew down to eat.  The other bird sat tight and even when I got the steps and peered quite close,  it sat there..... being or pretending to be Snow White! But was it Lucky? I honestly couldn’t tell – I couldn’t see Lucky’s black horseshoe on his breast. I should’ve checked out his eyes – as Lucky has odd eyes but I didn’t think of it. So, what to do? I didn’t want to pick the male up to check if it was Lucky, in case Charm flew back at that moment and the kerfuffle upset her.... so I just left him, and waited to see what would happen. Charm settled back into the cote alongside whichever male she’d got with her (it’s got to be Lucky methinks!) and I went inside to watch Emmerdale with one eye on the cote! By the first ads it was getting gloomy and my thought was what if the male decides to leave now.... or at sometime in the night.... Charm is bound to go with him, so the only thing to do was block both of them in immediately. So I crept underneath the cote, hoping the birds couldn’t see me, my hands trembling and my heart hammering as usual. I absolutely hate doing this, but I MUST do everything possible for these eggs which are so near hatching day. Having blocked them, I could peep round the side of the mesh tray and they were both sitting there side by side – very sweet really. There is plenty of room in each nestbox for two adult doves and they would have plenty of air through the mesh, and at each side. And there they will have to stay until the morning! I will get up at 6am to unblock – I hope I've done the right thing!!! What on earth would SW think if he knew? 

Saturday 26.4.14 – the early morning was very rainy and a bit windy, but I got up promptly at 6.00am to gently unblock Charm and the male – who very soon flew out of the nest-box and yes, of course it was Lucky! - Here he is, first bird on the roof...

The first pigeons arrived 6.15am so I felt I'd picked the right time for the unblocking. Now my next hurdle was to see the changeover and block SW in for the day. SW took his time, enjoying those last minutes before he had to sit all day – eating, pecking in the raised bed and having a drink from the puddles in the yard. Here he was joined by another pigeon and Lucky.

 Mirror, mirror..... who's the fairest of them all...... My Snow White of course!

From the yard, Lucky and SW then flew to the roof and started courting a young white female who just chanced to be around....

From 9.00am I watched constantly, but the doves can do the change in a blink of an eye and I somehow missed it, but Charm was on the ground, eating and Lucky was on the roof. When she flew up, he immediately joined her and started canoodling .....

 'I really do love you' says Lucky. 'Well, I love you too darling', says flighty Charm, trying to wriggle her way out of a difficult situation 'but Snow White was soooo persuasive that I just couldn’t help myself!' I would’ve liked to block SW in straight away but he was sitting in a position where he would’ve seen me so I had to bide my time. When Charm came down to eat again, Lucky made two separate attempts to get into the nestbox, but SW foiled him, and eventually by 9.40am I’d done the blocking and could get on with the day. All very stressful I assure you!

Later - Charm was blocked in, alone, this evening. The eggs are due to hatch on Monday! and, to make matters worse, and more stressful for me, the men are supposed to be coming to redo our fence on Tuesday - a 2 day job that will cause a lot of disruption in the garden I should think, and may cause the doves to leave the babies. I am praying that for some reason it will have to be postponed.

To be cont....

Thursday, 17 April 2014

We have eggs...... which brings concerns....

Wed 9.4.14 –  In the mid afternoon, there was no-one on the nest, and as I had placed the steps back in front of the cote a few days ago, I was able to grab the camera nip up and see.....yes, one lovely egg!

I’m not sure when Snow White left tonight, but Charm was again staying the night with her egg, and I expect will lay again tonight. She always seems to stay with the eggs ok, it’s the babies she leaves too early and has done with every single brood she’s had (with Lucky as the father). 
Mr. Strong was here alone at 6.50pm this evening.....maybe his mate Frances in on a nest, like Charm? I saw him flutter down out of the corner of my eye as I sat it the sitting room and went out to feed him. Mr. S and his wife are a favourite pair of mine, both ringed by me.

Thurs 10.4.14 – Bertie ran down the path just as I started the morning feed – I shut him in the house and drove him straight home afterwards at about 7.30am. Since I got back from Butlins last Friday this must be the fourth time I’ve driven him home! Charm left the nest briefly to relieve herself and I again nipped up the steps......still only one egg. They usually lay one 24 hours after the other, so maybe she laid the first yesterday afternoon and will lay again this afternoon – I hope so.

Here Charm's in the nestbox and Snow White is having a bath - prior to his turn at nest duty

 Making himself even more beautiful and snow white-ier than he is ....
 Then alone on the roof to dry off....

 and preen himself

10am – It looks like Charm’s still in the nestbox, but who is this kissing on the roof?

I identified Snow White.....

 Then Charm......
Who’s in the nestbox then? ......(and the dove was sitting right inside just before I took the photo)

It's Lucky!!!

Oh poor Lucky, he just doesn't understand that he's not the daddy, that Charm has thrown him over for Snow White and that he has no right to sit on the eggs in the front nest box!

 11.45am Lucky and Charm are on the roof together - he's chasing his former wife -  and now Snow White’s in the nest box
I hope we have a calmer afternoon. Keep Calm Charm and Lay Eggs!

3.45pm – A chance for a peek – and we have two eggs now! I know Charm’s the mummy, and SW think’s he’s the daddy, but he may not be..... Charm is so flighty!

Did I mention the racer with the bad leg in the last blog? He's still around with his ringed foot going black, withered and useless. Probably he will be left with just a stump - so I feel sorry for him and he gets peanuts, and grain thrown right down in front of him as he can't run around with the others. But otherwise he is fine.

 This is either Dolly - I think it's Dolly - or Frances, looking pretty in the daisies

 And another pretty ringed (not be me) female
 Snow White, having taken Charm off Lucky, still courts other females while she is tied to nest duty. Miss Green Ring is quite a favourite..... here he is with her..... up on the wire

Below, Grace and Dolly share a snack

Sat 12th April 14  – Grace gets chased by two pigeons ....

Sunday 13.4.14 – Hubbie decided that today he really must strim and mow the lawn plus cut back the pampas grass just under the dove cote. It was lovely and sunny so the ideal morning, but I do tend to hate these days as I worry about the eggs being left too long if the doves are frightened by the noise of the strimmer/mower. In the past I have sometimes blocked the sitting dove in, so decided to do that today..... but the doves were in and out, in and out.....including Lucky! My first attempt at blocking in failed – Snow White flew out of the cote before I could get the grille over. Damn! I decided to wait a few minutes before trying again. A white dove went in.....I didn’t know which one of the three it was....but Hubbie was borrowing someone else’s mower as it is more heavy duty for the first cut of the season, and I heard him coming back over the yard with it. Now or never! I managed to put up one of the little grilles he made for me, plus the half brick – and whoever was in the cote had to stay there for an hour while the work was done. I hoped it wasn’t Lucky but didn’t think he would harm the eggs....I think he considers he has a third share in them anyway!

 Hubbie cuts the lawn, above, while a white dove waits on the roof, below
 and whoever is in the cote, is blocked in!

The white dove stayed on the roof throughout. When I removed the block the dove inside was calmly sitting, but after a few minutes the swap was made. Charm out, SW in - all well. Hubbie fusses over the state of the grass, where the doves water baths are placed etc..... I soothe, and carry on regardless! To me the birds are more important than the lawn.

My concern now is about when/how I am going to be doing the blocking in at night. I can see no other way than this to keep Charm with the babies (when they hatch) so they don’t get cold and die like the January babies.
This is what has happened, briefly, to Lucky and Charm’s newly hatched babies so far (and having SW as the daddy changes nothing, as Charm is the one on the nest at night).

May 13 –  Lucky and Charm’s first nest in the cote. Sky and Summer allowed them a room at the back of the cote, as they had their own, further forward, nest at the front. L and C’s first babies were Fennie and Dolly. I wasn’t quite sure when they hatched, but when they were 2-4 days old, Charm left in the late afternoon/early evening and didn’t come back. This was my first experience with Charm as a mother dove and then I had no idea how it would end. If you want to, read back on the blog from about 13th May ’13 but in a nutshell I tucked the babies in with various things to keep them warm, like a feather-stuffed cashmere glove (mini duvet!) and then half-blocked the entrance which would prevent predators getting in. Next morning I got up extremely early to un-block and thankfully the babies survived. After that, Charm stayed with them at night until she left them again at about 7 days old (still too young as they should be brooded at night til 14 days old at least). At the time, I considered her leaving them that one night as a 'blip'. These babies survived though  Fennie died at the beginning of this year due to PMV, but Dolly is still around and a beautiful white female.

June ‘13 – Lucky and Charm’s second nest – 2 eggs that didn’t hatch - When opened there were undeveloped embryos inside. By this time L and C were in the front most favoured nestbox having taken it over after Sky disappeared (Summer fought for it, but lost)

July ‘13 – 3rd nest. Harlequin and Columbine. Charm left them late aft/eve when they were about 4 days old. Without reading back every blog, I am not sure what happened but presume I tucked and blocked them in every night til I felt they were old enough to cope. This pair survived for a while, but eventually stopped coming, so I don’t expect they lasted that long.

August ‘13 – 4th nest – which turned out to be the last nest of the year. Alpha and Omega. Charm followed her usual pattern and left the babies at about 4 days old. I did the usual tucking and blocking thing, but regular readers will remember that in the morning the babies were stone cold....but survived. One of my worst dovie moments and Alf and Meg were always peaky, and Alf died young, and Meg flew off, never to return - missing presumed dead.

January ’14 – 5th nest – By this time, Snow White and his first love, Rose Red had a nest in the side of the cote, a day or two behind Lucky and Charm’s. L and C’s eggs hatched and I was on the watch out for Charm possibly flying off late aft/eve, as she had done previously – but on that night both she and Rose Red were on their nests at dark – I checked with a quick flicker of the torch – and it certainly didn’t occur to me that Charm would leave the nest during the night – but unfortunately she did.....taking RR with her – and when hubbie and I got up (and it was still not really light!) I found the nests unattended and all babies and one unhatched egg dead. Absolutely dreadful. I have no idea why the mothers left the babies/egg

So..... now you can see why Charm is such a bad mother, and why I am so very worried and don’t know what to do. With the first 4 nests, Charm left and I knew she had gone – the last nest being left at night brought a new dimension to the problem. I either sit up all night watching her!!! Or I have to block her in.  One good thing is, this time, there is only L and C’s nest in the cote, so only one lot to worry about – and if I have to block in it will be a darn sight easier to just do one. I say easier, but the doing of it is fraught with difficulties. The eggs are currently only 3 and 4 days old, and just eggs.... but as they develop and we get nearer to hatching time I will have to have made a plan of action. So far, Charm has never left the eggs, only the hatched babies. It’s possible she would leave the eggs, but I think I will just have to hope she doesn’t but I can’t ‘wait and see’ with the babies. The death of the January babies was extremely upsetting and I can’t risk it happening again.  The hatching day is calculated 18 days from the day the 2nd egg is laid I think, so 28th May should be hatching day.  If anyone has any thoughts on this problem, especially those of you who have or have had doves/pigeons, then I will be pleased to hear them. It’s at times like this I wish I had a loft – you just shut the door and they are all safe. If I block Charm in, I will have to creep out in the dark with only one chance to get it right, Heart hammering, trying to go up the steps without being seen or heard.... it’s making my stomach turn somersaults just thinking about it. But what alternative do I have? I can think of none.

Monday 14.4.14 – Despite me taking him home yesterday Bertie was here again this morning. Once hubbie had gone out, I took him home making it a round trip with shopping etc. Hubbie will ask ‘Where’s the boy?’ when he comes back and I will say, partially truthfully ‘I don’t know’ – well I don’t know what he does or where he goes when I drop him outside his ‘owners’ door, but I do know for sure he will back at ours before long!

Three white doves were on the roof..... I was sure one was Snow White, waiting until it was his turn to do nest duty. I am always stunned how beautiful the sparkling white doves are against a blue sky.

 See how the doves and pigeons separate themselves out

 The other two turned out to be Star Light (right on the photo and Snow White’s second little wifey, for a very short time, and now ‘divorced’) and a white male. I am so glad that she seems to have found a new love interest.

Yesterday Cloud seemed to be having a ‘pecking Cissie’ day – poor little Cissie she is getting a tiny baldie patch on her head due to this!

I decided to keep them separate today. Cissie went in the run – here she is working her way up the walkway to the ‘house’.

And Cloud is content with the hutch.

And here’s Snow White on the eggs.

With Bertie taken home, all is well in my dovie world.

Shirley, one of my blog readers, sent me a photo of the cover of a recent Homing World magazine. It tells the story of a white ex-racer called Peace who is now 25 years old, and currently the world's oldest pigeon. Wow – do you think any of mine will live that long? And Shirley, thanks for saying how you look forward to reading my blog. I appreciate the compliment.

Bianca, with her blue ring, another newly-returned old favourite, is back – and being courted by a white male. Last year her mate was Dirty Ricky, a white dove that was always covered in sandy looking marks. The potential new mate is pristine, so I can’t tell if he’s Ricky, cleaned up, or someone new.

'Oh (says Bianca's male) She's off! Was it something I said?'
Cloud gets courted too.....

Sorry mate, there's no chance there!

Below, a series of photos, where I tempt Grace to eat from my hand....

Autumn is here every day too, and I saw Pandora once in the last few days.
Later in the day, I noticed a ringed white dove that I couldn’t quite place..... was it Grace with very dirty rings? (her rings are pink and blue) or could it possibly be Destiny back? (her rings are red and blue, as far as I remember). Testing to see if it was Grace, I put my hand full of peanuts on the lawn, and this bird rushed up to eat them off my hand. But though Grace will eat from my hand, she never rushes up  and I still wasn’t convinced it was her. I think it might be Destiny – desperately hungry! 
Wed. 16.4.14 – I was out most of the day, so a long day for Cloud and Cissie to be confined in the hutch together – with the grilles between them to keep them separate (due to Cloud’s nastiness to Cissie!) I can’t leave either of them in the conservatory due to the heat, and though I debated about whether to leave Cissie in the run I decided that it really isn’t safe enough. If Mr. Reynard decided to prowl round he would not only probably be able to break in and take Cissie, but would also terribly upset Charm/Snow White and maybe cause them to leave the nest, not to mention upsetting Cloud. I was glad I had done this when I came home and found a dead pigeon surrounded by feathers in the garden.

 I always approach a dead body with trepidation, wondering whether the unfortunate victim will turn out to be one of my special birds... but it wasn’t, just another pigeon who had copped it. I did wonder if it actually had been a fox, as the head was completely gone..... or even Bertie’s handiwork.... but there were puncture wounds from the hawk’s claws and the feathers had been stripped. Definitely a hawk strike.

I left the body there as not much eaten and hope it will come back to eat some more..... and spare another bird the same fate. Always, I rush to see if the my cote birds are ok, and my homies safe....and all was well.
The bird that might be Destiny was there again, but wouldn’t eat from my hand. I looked up past blogs and Destiny did have red/blue rings. So pleased if it is her – she is about 11 months old, and hatched to Sky and Summer in May 2013.

Two nice photos to end the blog - starlings on the roof, so glossy! We didn't have the starlings around last year so I am glad they have come back.
 And this is Blackie - who has 2 black rings (not ringed by me) - just another regular to the garden

Please don't forget to send a message if you have any ideas about what to do about the Charm/babies problem.

To be cont....