Monday, 25 May 2009

The eagle owl is a failure

New baby prior to being ringed ,Pixie Doo!

I have started feeding the doos on top of the well as I get a great view from the lounge window, Percy the pheasant thinks it is a wonderful idea and loves the fact that the very scary eagle owl is there to scare away predators while he eats lunch.

A few days ago we noticed some damage to the bark of some of the trees in the garden including the Beechgrove TV grafted apple. We have had deer in the garden and it looks like the damage to the Sandringham Pippin Graft on the family apple tree is terminal. The bark is stripped round the branch so I don't hold out much hope of recovery. It was shame as this year we had our first apple blossom on the 'family tree'.

We have also had some damage on the veg patch too, earlier I spotted two leverets in Tamaras orchard and when I went down to check the veg discovered they had also been in and helped themselves to several newly planted cabbage plants nibbled right down to the stalk.
This morning I noticed that some of the doves seemed to be quite irritated and were trying to peck at their breasts so suspecting mites or lice I have given them a bath of apple cider vinegar and garlic, just the thing for any self respecting dove. When I say I have given them a bath what I do is, put a shallow basin of water in the garden with said ingredients in and the doves cannot resist getting in and splashing around, the vinegar kills the mites and the doos end up smelling like a plate of chips minus mites.
Dove count 14 and two confirmed eggs.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Doos on top...of Eagle Owl

The eagle owl has been completely accepted by the doos now. I am not now convinced that it is going to scare away some marauding sparrowhawk!

Doo Number 14 has made an appearance, Young Stillard, sibling of Wellard ,was spotted yesterday when mum briefly left the nest.

The doves so far are:

Bully and Lily ( Originals from last May)

Ben and Jerry and Ivy ( Christmas Doos ) Thank you Janice and Jeff for the Doo Voucher.

Ist Babies: Fugly and Didgeree ( named By Nicci)

2nd Baby: Pipsqueak (sibling died in egg)

3rd Round: Moby As in The Great White Doooooooooo ( Murray) and Cocka...Doodle Doo (Stu)

4th Batch: Pixie and Dixie ( Named by Carmen after her t shirt, we think!)

5th lot: Wellard and Stillard ( Sam )

RIP: Hindoo, Huffy and Holly

The nesting frenzy appears to have stopped now so maybe a flock of 14 is a good size for our housing arrangements. They hate the new pink pigeon pellets by the way and I have discovered to my cost that the discarded pellets turn to pink sticky porridge when rained on, even the wood pigeons won't eat them.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Quick Update

Pixie and Dixie are now in the lower nest box and today I caught my first glimpse of Wellard. I have gone ahead and ordered a new dove cote and am hoping that Herb will build me a mass feeding table as the flock is now quite a size. The small feeding area is just too small. I bought some specialist pigeon pellets the other day, a lot cheaper than mixed grain, however, the doos are apparently experts at sifting through the bowl and discarding all the pellets on the ground. Maybe the mix was too rich in pellets, I tried the conversion on half and half but am going to have to be a bit cleverer than that if I want to substitute it again.

Brilliant weather today, have planted loads of young veg today and as rain is forecast it should all get nicely puddled in pretty soon.

Doo head count up to 13 today!

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Hello Pixie! Doo Number 11.

Lovely day yesterday and the doves spent a lot of it lounging around on top of the well as you can see, undeterred by the Large fierce eagle owl watching over them.

This morning when I braved the torrents and wild winds to feed the doves I caught a glimpse of the newest addition to the flock, Pixie ( named by Carmen) She/he is in the lower cote hole and I think her mum is Ivy, one of the Christmas doos. I will attempt to ring her in a few days if ever mum or dad leave her alone long enough for me to get in, I got a peck this morning while trying to check if Pixie was a singleton or not. As her eyes are fully open and she has a few feathers I think she is about 4 or 5 days old.

We are planning on taking the homing cage surround down over the next few days and am ordering a second dove cote for my ever expanding flock. Herb declined to build a new house. Once I get up to about 20 I will be removing newly laid eggs and replacing them with china ones to deter any further babies for the time being.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Cocka gets ringed

Yesterday when I got home from Dundee I saw that one of the newest baby doos was out and on the ground so I took the chance to catch it and ring its leg. This is Cocka, named by Stu and it now sports a yellow ring on its leg. Most of the other doos are ringless but the idea is that I should be able to determine who is who and who is missing, God forbid. I think that they could now be a called Yellow, Blue, Green, Purple and Red and eventually Yellowred, Bluegreen, Purplered and Blured etc etc, depending on how many baby doos we get. It would make it much easier.

I am already thinking about more family accommodation and Herb has graciously decided to look at the problem for me when he has a few spare minutes.

Still no idea if any of the eggs have hatched and as the Mother doos are firmly perched over the top of whatever lies below it is hard to find out. By my reckoning all four eggs should have hatched by now.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Holly Died

Sad news, wee Holly Doo just died. She looked very poorly this morning, all hunched up and looking really miserable and a little while ago when I went to check her she was laying on her side, dead.

Real shame.