Saturday, 31 October 2015

An unexpected blog - October notes - mainly Tigerlily

I didn't expect to blog, but I kept some notes and they developed!

Early in Oct Pan came home with a small wound on his back. Otherwise he seemed fine and I treated it with my special veterinus gel – within two days little feathers were growing back in!

Cissie had a PMV relapse – making her more floppy in the head and more inclined to go round and round in circles. Maybe the excitement of the summer, having a mate and becoming a mother got to her in the end! Anyway, she would have to be a whole lot worse before I would consider the dreaded trip to the vet – she is still my girl - My clever girl, Pan’s mother!

18th Oct - I am very fond of this pair - Mr. Strong and his new mate, Blackie

Above, Pan - my big strong gorgeous boy!

20.10.15 - I had thought that the nasty eye infection amongst the general flock had blown over but one day I realised that a bright sandy little pigeon with unusually purple iridescent feathers on her breast had got something wrong with one eye, so I set out to capture her. She was a pigeon I had particularly noticed before – because of the unusual colouring – so I know that she had had nothing wrong with her eyes previously or I would’ve picked up on it. Once I had got her I had a good look – one eye was very puffy, bloodshot, practically closed and with two lumpy areas in the region our eyebrows would be.  I gently pressed round the eye and a piece of cheesy solid matter came into view over her eye and popped out. 

As you can see from the photo, it was quite large. I treated the eye with the excellent drops I get from Healingsun on ebay and released her. Next day I caught her again – and the same amount of matter was eased out of her eye. If you didn’t know you’d think it was half a soggy small peanut. This stuff, hard pus I suppose, was the cause of the two bulgy lumps above her eye. I used the drops again of course. This sounds a bit gross, but it was very satisfying to get rid of the stuff and give the bird some relief - several times I had seen her scratching at her eye with her foot; it must've been painful and irritating, and of course was making her practically blind in that eye, and therefore vulnerable.

 On the third day, her eye was looking better, and by the fourth really good. On the fifth day I could tell by looking at her that her eye was fine and I didn’t need to try and catch her to do the drops. Amazing – cured in 4 treatments, yet if you had seen her the first day you wouldn’t have thought she even HAD an eye it looked so awful. I wish I had taken photos every day, the cure was so dramatic. As I write it is now 28th Oct and Sorrel, as I call her, is with the flock every day and perfectly fine.

Below, the homies gather in the kitchen doorway - with naughty Pan, who can fly of course, up on the left on the sink unit. (the blue things you can see in the garden are stacked bags of coal!)

Cissie and Cloud in the bath - the water was probably fairly clean though the bath has algae growing on it but I read that it is good for the birds not to clean the algae off - so I don't very often

I haven’t seen my Autumn – (my oldest white dove hatched in my cote) for several weeks now, since the beginning of October, but she has gone away before for long periods and then returned, so I hope that will prove to be the case this time too.

 23.10.15 - 5.15pm - Above and below, my little loner, Tigerlily

You might or might not remember Tigerlily from my last blog. She’s a feisty little skinny black and white pigeon that I was treating for the eye infection. Every day in October I have marked on my dovie calendar whether I have seen her or not, for feeding, and only missed seeing her on three days or rather late afternoons or early evenings, as she always comes late. Her story continues .....
28.10.15 – It was quarter to five and as the clocks have changed already getting very gloomy indeed, and past the time I would expect to see any pigeon around. I started cooking the dinner in the back kitchen as we haven’t lit our aga yet, so was in and out of the house, when suddenly there wasTigerlily on the roof! I got the pot of food I had ready for her and went out and started throwing it on the garden table, and eventually she came down. She immediately gobbled up one peanut, then just sat there, panting or breathing in a heavier way than usual. I talked gently to her and sprinkled more food, as I walked round the table so I could get a good look at her from all sides. She seemed to be unharmed, but something seemed a little wrong or different, and I didn’t like her breathing. I decided that if I could I would capture her, just for the night, so she got a forced rest and didn’t have to face the possibly long flight back to wherever she comes from in the semi-darkness. I got the net, but actually just grabbed her with my hand. Inside, I examined her eyes with my glasses on plus a magnifying glass, and both seemed fine. In fact, I couldn’t remember which one I had treated with the drops. She was quite light and a bit skinny, but otherwise ok. As it was nearly bedtime anyway, I put her in Pan’s day box, and locked her in for food and water , and put Pan straight to bed in his night box. I left the food and water with her for a few minutes so she could eat more and get a drink, but it really was getting pretty gloomy by this time (or ‘doomy’ as my three year old granddaughter calls it!) so I removed it before carrying her box into the room where the homies sleep. Then I brought Cloud in next because she always makes cooing noises when I put her to bed and I think that hearing this any ‘newbie’ will be reassured that they are in the company of their own kind. I will of course release her tomorrow morning, as soon as the other pigeons are on the roof, provided she does not seem worse. I think maybe she is just exhausted – other pigeons have benefited from just one night’s rest. For all I know she might roost just round the corner, but somehow I get the vibe that she flies a long distance, and comes here just to eat due to lack of food in her more local area. She is rarely with other pigeons  which means she is more vulnerable.

Thurs 29.10 15 -  I released Tigerlily after taking a photo....

and first she flew to a roof away from the other pigeons which is not good news because they do that if they feel poorly..... but a bit later, she joined some others on the main roof 

and by 8.45am had gone. I wondered if I would ever see her again....I doubted it, and my heart was breaking already.

Fri 30.10.15 – After bringing the homies in, I still kept popping to the kitchen to see if Tigerlily had managed to come back, and eventually there she was at 3.30pm just before it starts to get dusky and gloomy – alone again, naturally! I took out food, and while she ate I skirted round the table trying to look nonchalant but really waiting for an opportunity to grab her!  Again I managed it, poor skinny little thing, and one eye, though not looking infected, looks a bit closed. Here she is in temporary accommodation, in with Cissie. 

Soon the homies will go to their night boxes and she can have Pan’s box for the night. Of course using boxes for birds like Tigerlily and even bringing them in is a potential risk for the health of the homies, but all the birds take their chance and I just do the best I can, and keep them all as clean as poss. Just after this, a white dove appeared on the garden table with one pigeon. The dove had a long piece of straw tangled round one foot, and trailing after it – it was sort of criss-crossed round the foot in ballet shoe style. I threw peanuts and made a grab for the straw – but missed! Hopefully straw is not as binding as string or wire but when they can’t shake off something tangled up , pigeons can lose their feet.

Below, Chino relaxing on top of her box - she doesnt do this very often, she's such a 
scaredy-bird, mostly just hiding inside

 Tomorrow I have a problem, I am going to be out for the major part of the day so will have to leave the homies in the conservatory. Pan, being betwixt and between, and considering himself a homie at night is my main worry. Currently during the day he perches on the kitchen door,  which is propped open, and flies outside if he wants to – when hubby’s not around anyway! I am off to see a show with my daughter and don’t expect to be back here before 6pm at the earliest – well past the time the homies come in now – which depending on the light is around 2.30-3pm so very early! Pan decides for himself when he will come to the conservatory, but it is no later than 3.30pm – so what to do? Do I shut him up when I have to go? I think I might have to. He would be worried if he couldn’t get back into the house at night – but having him ‘homed’ to the house is very awkward sometimes!  Tigerlily will be another problem – but I will release her in the morning after hand-feeding her a really good feed, so at least I know she has had a cropful which will last her a good 24 hours.

Sat 31st Oct – So I had to leave the house at 10.45am – the three homies had been brought in and would be all right in the conservatory. I also, luckily, had managed to catch Pan and he too would have to spend a boring day inside but I did put one of the water baths on the conservatory floor and hoped he would manage to amuse himself. He isn’t crated like the other three. Luckily hubby is away this weekend or goodness knows what I would’ve done

I had released Tigerlily and she’d gone by 8am, but at 8.30am she’d come back and was sitting on the side of one of the water-baths, in the odd upright way she has. I gently approached her and without difficulty picked her up – but what to do with her?  I put her in the hutch on the raised bed, with the door open, so she could leave if she wanted to..... but she didn’t, she went into the ‘night’ part and hid. Poor little thing. I couldn’t leave her in the garden for any random fox to break into the hutch and eat her while I was out, so I made arrangements  – and had her in with the others, but not loose like Pan. At least she would be safe and I could enjoy my day out. But she is obviously weakening, and unfortunately I don’t really expect her to survive in the long term.

Although my plan was not to ring, name or get fond of any more pigeons, it is impossible for me not to with some of them. Tigerlily, like others before her, has captured my heart.  But also, she reminds me of and is my last link with Tink and Tinkerbell. Tink was first, Pan’s sibling, and the day after she died was the first day I bought another little pigeon in – and named her after Tink....Tinkerbell.  Less than 2 weeks later, Tinkerbell was also dead, and I was treating Tigerlily (named after Tinkerbell – if you get the Disney connection) for the eye infection. All small little pigeons with endearing personalities, and Tigerlily has unusual colouring for the pigeons round here.

I leave you with Lucky, my daddy cote bird, and his current mate. Lottie, who seems to be sticking with him. Will they be having babies again in the spring - hope so!

Bye for now, I will catch up again at Christmas.

To be cont........

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Tinkerbell update - and I sign off for a while

Wed 23rd Sept 15 – Tinkerbell was brought in yesterday late afternoon, looking at death’s door. Sodden, cold, hungry and with one eye gummed up, and the other nearly closed. Obviously I sprang into action to warm her up and look after her. I decided that no way was she going to be released for several days, and until her eyes were much better. I weighed her this morning – if I had to guess I would’ve maybe thought 170g which would be very low, but she was only 162g which is about the weight of an 8 day old squab! From my recent records, Pan weighed 204g at 10 days old – and Tinkerbell is a fully fledged pigeon with no sign of baby down or a squab’s beak and must be at least 35 days old or more. But today one eye seems a bit better.

 Tinkerbell today
 Below, the flock on the sunny roof

Thursday 24th - I am hand feeding Tinkerbell three times a day and she always has food with her in case she wants to eat on her own – and water of course. I also treat her eyes three times a day, and they are not worse but not much better I am afraid to say.

Below - the white dove is my Autumn. She is now over three years old and the oldest living surviving known dove hatched in my cote, that still visits me.

Sat. 26.915 – I had hoped that Tinkerbell would be so much better by today that I would be able to release her but such is not the case. I am surprised she is alive she is so poorly. She is practically blind and the drops don’t seem to be helping her.

There is another small grey pigeon with one bad eye that I grab and treat when I can, and a black and white one who is reasonably tame, also with one bad eye. I call her Tigerlily. The little brown one that I mentioned before never made it back.

There was an attempted hawk attack and I heard the birds fly off and went out to look around. Tigerlily was standing in the flower bed, frozen to the spot. I netted her and brought her in for eye treatment, and kept her in a while, but released her when the other birds came back. She is small and a bit skinny, but feisty and can fly. At night sometimes she sleeps under the scaffolding, which is sensible of her!

 Above, can you spot Tigerlily?

There she is!

Pan seems spooked and wants to spend more time with me, but I discourage it as he has to be a bird not a person. He came back with ruffled back feathers one time and may have had a near encounter with the hawk himself. I do leave the kitchen door open when I am around so he has a quick refuge if he needs it, or I put him in the run with Cloud and Cissie. Tinkerbell has the hutch at the moment.

Sunday 27th - 
 Tinkerbell's eyes today

Monday 28.9.15 – Tinkerbell weighs 179g today so gone up a bit. If she is still alive and I can get her to a reasonable weight I may consider taking her to the vet for her eyes.

Afternoon – she’s worse, got diarrhoea.  I doubt she will be alive tomorrow......... her toes have curled up which means the end is near. All I can do is keep her warm....

At the end of the afternoon, a few pidgie stragglers arrived – and also Tigerlily! I was pleased to see her and managed to grab her to treat her bad eye. I also stuffed a few peanuts down her, before setting her free again. She is small, and a bit thin, but obviously managing fairly well. A great little bird!

Early eve – I put Tinkerbell to bed as usual, with the snugglesafe  bottle under the padding in the bed to keep her warm, and kissed the top of her head and blessed her. I’d rather she died tonight if she can’t get better but if she does I will miss her. She responds when I talk to her, though she can’t see me, snuggles into my lap for protection and is so good and patient, but must be the poorliest bird I have ever had. It’s pathetic to see her.

Tuesday 29.9.15 – Tinkerbell was dead this morning. Just like her namesake Tink she was in the same position I left her, just frozen in time. I'm sure she just drifted quickly away. I was sad for me, as I loved having her, but not sad for her. I wished I could've made her better.

Pan is 9 weeks old today and likes to hang round with the homies more than with the main flock. He is big, good looking and still comes in at night – what more could you want from a boy?

Thursday 1.10.15 - Tigerlily is also doing well – she seems to arrive late, as she did today, but I was able to grab her, treat her bad eye (which is much improved) and make sure she gets a good feed. Like Siena and Florence, I think she will recover from the eye infection and be fine.

I won’t now be blogging til my review of the year at Christmas time, so look after yourselves until then, and thanks for reading. It is much appreciated.