Sunday, 21 February 2010

Watch the Birdy!

I have always loved doves and it was only when we moved to the Fairyglade that we had the space to put in a dovecote. We started off with a single pair, though at the time we didn't know if they were an actual pair. It really only becomes apparent as they get older and take on certain characteristics. This mainly involves the females sitting coquettishly on the roof of the cote and the males running round and round in circles with their tail feathers brushing along the ground making as much noise as possible and chests puffed out with importance..mmmm, does that sound familiar?
A coquettish female, sitting pretty.
Over the years they have steadily increased and we now have a flock of around 24 or so. It fluctuates up and down as some fall victim to the local sparrow hawk and neighbours cats. They have also stayed predominately white, though one or two have bred with strays that have flown in for some supper and have never left when they realise that the pickings are so frequent and plentiful. This is one such pair. The browny female is an interloper who caught the eye of one of our lads and that was that.


She chose this rather fetching abode when man person was doing some building work in the garden a couple of years back now. The dovecote only houses 6 dominant pairs and they hang onto their boxes with a vengeance. There is stiff competition to retain or steal such a lucrative dwelling. Unfortunately, some get desperate and find alternative places to build a nest and go onto breed.

This sweet little female chose a seed tray in the bottom shed and went on to raise several babies over the year.


Last year we had to make a concious effort to try and stabilise the population because they were eating us out of house and cote. This meant having to remove the eggs every couple of days. At one point we had as many as 40 doves. Too many for us to cope with and frustrating for them because of the lack of suitable nesting. It is sad, and I can hear you all saying what a wicked lot we are, but occassionally one is overlooked and this is the result.......


How adorable is that, only a few minutes old. But they grow fast and that has now grown into this............. so there are some happy endings!



They are canny cats when it comes to food and are not above stealing it wherever they can.........poor Hamish, he doesn't stand a chance bless him! But, see how gentle he is, those two are actually feeding from his bowl.


Now, don't start panicking, he is a whippet and has always been thin. He is not actually dying from starvation despite all the ribs on view.

So basically, they live the life of riley here at the Fairyglade, bathing in warm puddles..................

Gossiping in the early morning sunshine...............

Sitting coquettishly eyeing up the talent but appearing to have no interest what so ever, as you do.............

Eyeing up coquettish females who have no apparent interest in such a fine creature as himself.....................

Yes, all in all, life is pretty good here for our winged friends. They are a joy to watch and their gentle cooing is balm for the soul.

Dev x

17 comments:

Alexandra Mason said...

What gorgeous photos i love how Hamish lets them feed from his bowl. We had a stranger tell us Fee was to thin yesterday, i tried to explain that it is how the breed is supposed to look but i don't think she believed me! Hope you have a lovely week xx

The Bird said...

What a very lucky woman you are to have all those beautiful doves! Beautiful pictures :) I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to your blog and would be honored if you stopped by mine some time as well. Take care

www.ravenfaescreations.blogspot.com

~ Brialee ~

marigold jam said...

What a lovely start to my week - a visit to your garden to see your doves. Lovely.

Doris said...

Thank you for sharing these photos and telling us more about your doves - I found it really interesting. There's something about birds that reminds me of peacefulness and nice weather, a lovely start to the week!!

Itch2stitch.com said...

This was beautiful to read and look at! Thank you! suzie. xxx

Pink Feather Paradise said...

What a lovely collection of doves... I drove past a house that had a dovecote but they had covered it with chicken wire so it was inside a cage... they were obviously not interested in letting their birds mix with the locals... lol

we had a Doberman and as a breed they can wither grow fat or be really skinny and energetic... ours never stopped running... and was skinny as you like...

x Alex

Tabiboo said...

They do look cute Dev, though I'm not much of a dove/pidgeon kind of person - but the white ones are still something magical to look at.

Hope you've dried off?

take care,

Nina xxxx

Lululiz said...

They are beautiful birds. Such a lovely post, I really enjoyed reading this one.

melanie said...

How adorable! You lucky thing having all those beautiful doves in your garden! :) xxx

Sian said...

They are stunning. How did you get them?

Ebi said...

Thanks for stopping by on my blog..I installed a translate gadget so you will be able to understand my dutch blabla!

Love your pictures!

Ebi

Karin said...

Beautiful doves!
I like your story.

About my bobbly crochet pattern.... you can do it too..... please read my blog (February, 20)... it's really easy!

~X~ Karin

Kate said...

Wow, your garden must be so peaceful and how lovely to have a dovecote. My daughter would be in raptures at the sight of the newly hatched one.

Thanks for the comment on my blog - I make them myself.

Kate x

skippinginthemeadow said...

They are so Beautiful! And Hamish bless him, what a darling he is.
ThankYou for sharing your lovely birds and sweet doggy with us :o)

xxx

Sumea

Fiona said...

Lovely pics of your doves. We tried keeping them once. It was a disaster. Most flew back from whence they came and our norty cat got the rest!

Sea Angels said...

I read ages ago that you were looking for this book I found it on this amazon link I hope it helps you find it xxx
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Vintage-Treasures-Jane-Cassini/dp/1841722871/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1267347128&sr=1-10
Kindest wishes
Lynn xxx

melanie said...

Thanks for your comment Dev. :) I agree that the last series of Lark Rise was better, but I am still loving this one. I really hope the BBC make a series 4. xxx