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The Joe Murphy Column

Received an email and phone call from a fancier who wrote; ‘Hi Joe, great to chat with you today regrading the birds of prey problem and what I have done over the last two seasons to combat the issue. I have attached a couple of photos that I hope you can see of my birds sprayed with the red sheep marker stuff that I mentioned. I sprayed them on Monday just this week, they have mostly finished their moult and so there was no colour on them until I resprayed them. As I mentioned to you last year, I was dubious at first of using this spray as there are lots of warnings on the can regarding health and irritation etc., so I tried it on just two pigeons initially - checked the next day and they were still alive, so I sprayed the lot!  Since then I have sprayed my young bird team (I don't race them, just train them up first year) and my old bird hens and cocks and as I said, I have seen no signs of hawk attacks (we get sparrow hawk and peregrine and Goshawk attacks locally) since doing this. I was advised to hold the bird with its head away from the spray can, part the main wings and expose the back and spray along this area. Then take each wing and spray two small bursts under each wing, this evidently deters the hawk if it actually attacks as the pigeon swerves to try and avoid the killer attack. Side effects that I have observed, they will preen themselves in the area sprayed and they do end up with pink beaks for a few days, but this eventually fades away. Incidentally I have had my best season ever this year, admittedly in a small club with around 7 members, but there is another local club and most weeks when I won (old birds only - 10 wins) I have beaten all these guys too. I have also done well in  the federation being up in the top 30 most weeks even though I fly nigh on 9 miles longer that most other flyers – Not being big headed, I know its not national flying, but just trying to make the point that it doesn't seem to affect the birds in terms of racing performance. I have tried a couple of sprays, best one without doubt is from "Stockshop" it’s called "Wolseley" red marking spray - their telephone number is :01392 460077 - They are based in Exeter but have stockists throughout GB & Ireland.  I hope this helps you Joe and if you do mention this in your column I know you will keep my name out of it. I would try it yourself and see what you think. I don't like the idea of having to keep my birds in throughout the winter because of hawks and this seems to keep them away, so my birds should keep their fitness levels up in my view. I used to do a lot of running when I was younger, in the winter we kept training to maintain and develop stamina; I use the same principals with my birds... Anyway, that's all for now Joe, keep up the good work writing as I always find your articles very interesting’.


Top Fancier

I noticed on the SNFC web site that Billy Van Nuil of Gretna won the main average awards at the local presentation. Winning the News of the World Trophy; Ellsworth Challenge Trophy; The Clive Newcombe Memorial Trophy; R Telfer Award; South Region Average Award and Section A average award. Billy’s performances are as follows; from Buckingham flying 223 miles he won 1st section A 25th open from an entry of 4170 birds entered by 495 members. From Bedhampton flying 299 miles he won 319th open but no section prize, against 6065   birds sent by 634 members. From the Gold Cup race from Alencon a distance of 472 miles to his loft Billy won 2nd section A 5th open from an entry of 1472 birds sent by 403 members. Then from the Ypres race with an entry of 2320 birds entered by 409 members he timed in 2 birds flying 379 miles to win 5th & 6th section A however they did not win open positions. The next race was from Ancenis the longest national race of the season and Billy came back with a bang winning 1st section A 2nd open flying 533 miles against an entry of 184 birds sent by 76 members. From the last old bird race from Falaise the 199 members sent 802 birds and Billy won 64th open flying 444 miles but did not win a section prize. On checking the young bird national I did not see his name on the result however he would just have to time in from the race as no other fanciers could compete with his performances this year. As sections B, C, D, E, F & G average trophies were NOT WON. The North, East & West Regions averaged trophies were also NOT WON. Which makes Billy Van Nuil performances all the more outstanding; so well done Billy. In all the years I have been covering the SNFC results; I have never ever experienced a year like 2017 when only ONE region average trophy was won and NONE of the others have been gained.  

The Dr William Anderson Memorial Trophy for the best average in Alencon; Ancenis & Falaise races was won by E Hodgson & sons of Annan. The T Buck trophy for the best average from Alencon & Falaise was won by J Gilmour of Ecclefechan.


Good SNFC Birds

Continuing reporting on these excellent pigeon this week I highlight a chequer hen Nicole rung SU12CA 2649 raced by P Ward of Linlithgow who received her Meritorious Inland Bronze Award  at the club presentation a few weeks ago. As a 2 year old she was entered into the Buckingham race a distance of 294 miles and won 11th section D 64th open. That same year she went to Maidstone a distance of 370 miles and won 58th section D 379th open. In the 2015 season she won twice from inland races being 46th section D 399th open from Portsmouth flying 369 miles and then into the Eastbourne race a distance of 394 miles and she won 27th section D. Last year 2016 she won 30th section D from Buckingham some more information about this bird, she was 1st Central section 2nd open from Ypres in 2014 with the Central Scotland 3 bird club flying 449 miles. In 2015 she was 1st Central section 1st open from Burbure flying 453 miles also with the Central Scotland 3 bird club. Nicole also has club cards to her name once again many congratulations.

My next pigeon is an exception bird as it has won 11 times in the SNFC and is also a SNFC Meritorious Inland Bronze Award for Davie Glen of Forfar. His blue bar cock SU12AF 746 named ‘Lowson Lad’. He wins his award this year for gaining 5 wins from inland national races as an old bird. As a yearling in 2013 he won 4th section C 25th open from Maidstone a distance of 401 miles that same year he competed from Ypres and won 114th open flying 465 miles although he did not win a section prize. In 2014 he again contested from the same 2 race points and won 5th section C 26th open from Maidstone and then gained 3rd section C 15th open from Ypres. The following year 2015 he won 17th section C 83rd open from Portsmouth a distance of 407 miles and was then entered into the Eastbourne race which is 20 miles further and he obtained 14th section C 47th open. In 2016 he won 3 national diplomas being 27th section C 137th open Buckingham flying 330 miles and won his Inland Bronze Award Dave then entered him into the Littlehampton race and he again succeeded by gaining 22nd section C 56th open flying 415 miles he was then set up for the Ypres event and triumphed by winning 6th section C 15th open. In 2017 he was entered into the Bedhampton race and won 34th section C 101st open thus gaining his 7th inland national diploma. He was then set up for 4th attempt from Ypres and he won 2nd section C 2nd open Ypres thus gaining ‘Lowson Lad’s’ a SNFC Silver Award to go along with his Inland Bronze Award To achieve the Double SNFC Award is very exceptional and you must agree a truly stupendous pigeon raced by a very talented fancier whom we congratulate on their success well done Dave.

Another 2 outstanding pigeon from over the River Tay that caught my eye are as follows; firstly a blue bar cock SU14DF 1256 raced by Joe Hunt of Dundee who has won 5 times in the SNFC. His first win was in 2015 when he won 8th section C 29th open from Eastbourne flying 422 miles the following year he won twice being 105th section C 428th open from Littlehampton a distance of 409 birds. He was then set up for his first channel race from Ypres and he won 21st section C 54th open flying 463 miles. This year he was entered into the Bedhampton race and won 49th section C 167th open flying 401 miles he was then sent to Ypres and won 21st section C 57th open thus winning his 5th award and now requires one more section wins from the channel to gain his Silver Award and we wish Joe every success for the future with his good blue cock.

My 2nd pigeon raced into the Angus Federation to a household name within the pigeon sport none other than David J Liddle of Forfar. His chequer cock SU11AF 520 has won 6 times in the Scottish National starting in 2014 when he won 4 times in the one season being 57th section C 228th open from Buckingham flying 330 miles he then went to the Maidstone race a distance of 401 miles and won 11th section C 49th open then from the last old bird race of the season from Clermont a distance of 549 miles he won 32nd section C 119th open. Then the following year he went to Portsmouth a distance of 408 miles and won 24th section C 98th open then in 2016 as a 5 year old he was entered into the SNFC Gold Cup from Reims a distance of 588 miles and won 6th section C 21st open this year 2017 he again won from Buckingham being 44th section C 144th open and now requires one more inland win to achieve a SNFC Meritorious Bronze Award and hopefully one more win from over the channel to win a SNFC Silver Award which would take him into the unique band of pigeons flying into Scotland. 

Back to the East of Scotland now for my next pigeon that I also noticed while studding the 2017 SNFC results: This excellent pigeon has achieved some wonderful positions and should have clinched his SNFC Silver Award but this must not have claimed for. However I feel he deserves a mention in this feature within my column. He is a mealy cock raced and has won 4 times from across the English Channel and twice from inland nationals. His number is SU12P 4830 and he is down on the national results as a chequer, a chequer pied, a slatey and a mealy cock (which causes some concern to me as someone is not doing their job properly at the marking station) regardless he was raced by lady fancier Karen Newcombe of Macmerry in East Lothian; who now flies in partnership with Ian Black. As a yearling the cock won 6th section B 11th open Ypres flying 426 miles the following year he was again sent back to Ypres and won 44th section 70th open. Last year he was 15th section B 20th open from Billericay a distance of 330 miles. Then in 2016 he won twice being 341st open from Buckingham a distance of 283 miles and then won 34th section B 64th open again from Ypres. Then in 2017 he has come good again being to the fore from the hard Gold Cup race from Alencon winning 7th section B 39th open from a distance of 534 miles. Well done to Karen and Ian let us hope the mealy cock can achieve his Gold Award in 2018.

Joe’s Joke

I just discovered my age group!  I am a Seenager. (Senior teenager)

I have everything that I wanted as a teenager, only 50-60 years later.

I don't have to go to school or work

I get an allowance every month

I have my own pad.

I don't have a curfew.

I have a driver's license and my own car.

I have ID that gets me into bars and the wine store. 

The people I hang around with are not scared of getting pregnant, they aren’t scared of anything, they have been blessed to live this long.  Why be scared?

And I don't have acne.

Life is Good!  Also, you will feel much more intelligent after reading this, if you are a Seenager.

Brains of older people are slow because they know so much.

People don’t decline mentally with age; it just takes them longer to recall facts because they have more information in their brains.

Scientists believe this also makes you hard of hearing as it puts pressure on your inner ear.

Also, older people often go to another room to get something and when they get there, they stand there wondering what they came for. It is NOT a memory problem; it is nature's way of making older people do more exercise. SO THERE!!

I have more friends I should send this to, but right now I can't remember their names.

So, please forward this to your friends; they may be my friends too!

Did I send you this already??

Please continue to keep the news flowing; to Joe Murphy Mystical Rose Cottage 2 Flutorum Avenue Thornton by Kirkcaldy KY1 4BD or phone 01592 770331 or Email to joejmurphy1@gmail.com REMEMBER THE J IN THE MIDDLE or log onto www.elimarpigeons.com www.fancierchat.co.uk www.pigeon-chat.co.uk and

www.Pigeonbasics.com - Pigeon Racing the Basics! Who wish my weekly contribution portfolio on pigeon topics from Scotland

© Compiled by Joe Murphy

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