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The Joe Murphy Column

Received an email from Phil Cooper who wrote ‘Hello Joe I have emailed you before about pigeon subjects; I used to keep pigeons in the 1980’s and I still read your weekly column but I’m just wondering about the amount of old bird and young bird losses that are happening now. A lot of people are going on about the darkness system - do you think this is interfering with Mother Nature as regards a natural life. For example; the holding back of the moult; Do you think these birds bred get the benefits of natural warmth i.e. long hours of sunlight. Then we have early breeding with lights on in the loft to increase daylight to rear strong and healthy young; do these have youngsters have a strong immune system? Then we have young bird sickness which has appeared with regularity and does anyone know the After Effects on these babies? What affects does this have on the pigeons that are struck down? Even although they look ok what is the length of time this young bird sickness could effect-them? Do you think that this could also play a part in there endurance abilities? Does it continue to affect their health on stressful days like the racing that we are experiencing now? AND is this the reason for so many young bird losses? Wishing you all the best yours Philip Cooper’. There are a number of good points that Phil has mentioned and I would like to hear other fancier’s opinion on the above questions. I also had a phone call from Richard Howey the other day and we discussed some of the above issues. He was telling me that he does not breed any youngsters at the start of the year but breeds them at this time of the year once the birds have flown their last race of the season. Richard is not interested in young bird racing as he is only concentrates on long distance races and he informs me that he has NEVER HAD young bird sickness in his life. I remember Tom Pennycott the vet at Bilston telling me to pair up my birds in December and breed early youngsters and they would never get young bird sickness either. Because they would be about 6/7 months old by the time this sickness starts to come around and these early youngsters are strong enough to fight it. Whereas birds bred in Februarys / March are going through the moult and fanciers are trying to play catch up (as fanciers have been concentrating on their old birds) and put all their time into training the youngsters prior to the racing beginning. All the above are contributing to the stress factor that the young birds are put under. Another fancier David Reed of Chainbridge Lofts phoned to say that he was talking to a fancier who knows the coastguard at Portsmouth and they regularly see birds heading towards the English coast from over the channel being attacked by peregrine hawks. They have seen 4 and 5 hawks diving into the groups of birds and the pigeons in panic to get away from them have gone diving into the sea to get away from them and many have drowned. Many of these pigeons are washed up onto the coastline and are eaten by seagulls or other vermin. But even with peregrine attacks this does not account for all the pigeons that have been lost this past season. If anyone else would like to contribute to this discussion then please feel free to get in contact with me email address end of the column.


Angus Federation result of the Arniston race flown on 5th August with 737 birds liberated at 08-00 hours into a west wind. Topping the federation is Davie Glen of Forfar with another in 8th 15th & 18th positions. Ian Scott is 2nd 7th 9th 10th 11th 16th 17th & 20th with David J Liddle in 3rd federation with J Fraser in 5th place followed by W Nicol in 6th & 14th spots. Kenny Droog & son of the same blue are 12th followed by Eric Galloway in 13th place.

East Section is won by G Campbell of Montrose with D & D Hay of Gourdon in 2nd & 3rd section with Chick & Ann Carrie of Inchcape club in 4th 8th & 10th positions. Eddie Mann of Gourdon is 5th & 7th with Kevin Murphy splitting them in 6th place he has another in 9th positon. 

Club Winners; Forfar 409 birds winner D Glen; Montrose 65 birds winner G Campbell; Gourdon 77 birds winners D & D Hay; Inchcape 114 birds winner C |& A Carrie; Arbroath 72 birds winner Kevin Murphy.

From the Angus federation Lauder race the 677 birds were liberated at 12-00 noon into a west to North West wind. Again the federation is dominated by Forfar club with Macaulay Ferguson & Curran are in 1st & 2nd places. Davie Glen is 3rd with W MacKnight in 4th 5th 6th 13th & 16th open Ian Scott is 7th 9th 10th & 17th with Eric Galloway in 8th place. David Liddle is 11th & 12th with Kenny Droog & son in 14th place and T McAree in 15th & 19th position with R Greig in 18th place and W Nicol makes up the top 20,

East Section is won by G Cameron of Arbroath  with Eddie Mann of Gourdon in 2nd 4th & 5th places D & D Hay of Gourdon are in 3rd & 7th section with M Wallace of Montrose in 6th place. Chick & Ann Carrie of Inchcape club are 8th with G Campbell of Montrose in 9th & 10th

Club Winners; Forfar 452 bird’s winner Macaulay Ferguson & Curran; Arbroath 60 bird’s winner Glen Cameron. Inchcape 70 birds winner C |& A Carrie; Gourdon 46 birds winners E Mann; Montrose 49 birds winner M Wallace & son.

Arbroath RP society held their 3 race of the young bird season from Lauder on 12th August with 4 members sending 60 birds, liberated at 12:00 noon into a west to North West wind. Taking the top spot is Glen Cameron with a natural youngster bred from a grandson of Leon Messiaen's ‘Castres’ 5 times a prize winner at Barcelona paired to a direct daughter of the ‘Castres’. Glen had 9 descendants of Castres in the SNFC Bedhampton result this year (all yearlings). Of course pairing non-flying out stock hen in the racing loft means that one day you forget when letting the team out, as a results the dam of the winner is lost! Kevin Murphy takes the next two places with his first a blue cock bred by Rob Glover of Nuneaton. His sire is a ½ brother to MISSY a Stefaan Lambrecht’s while his dam is a John Bate of Birmingham from ‘Jorja’ winner of 1st open Midland Continental classic flying club; also a winner of 1st club 3rd federation 2nd club 6th fed; 2nd club 17th fed; 3rd club 4th fed; 4th club 16th fed; 7th fed 127th open NFC Fougeres 8,635 birds. Kevin’s 3rd club winner is from a pair of Tom & Scott McEwen of Elphinstone pigeons.

Ayrshire Federation

News from Archie McIntyre who writes; ‘Hi Joe we were at Dunbar for their 2nd young bird race of the season on the 5th August with a convoy of 1,643, a drop 39 birds on the previous week race. Jim had the birds off and running at 06:45 into a west wind for a journey of between 78 miles to the bottom end of the federation up to 94 miles to the top end of the federation. As in the previous week’s race the birds in the north section of the federation seem to be having a better race than the south section members. Although some members reporting excellent returns there were others who got reasonably early birds but had a good percentage of their remaining birds taking most of the day to return. The North section once again takes top 20 positions in the federation result but where in the first race the birds seemed to hit in the top end of the north section, this race, the leading birds looked to have hit in through the top end of central section. Leading the way in the federation this week and certainly doing it in a big way is the Ardeer HS partnership of John Grant & Stevie McGovern taking 1st ,2nd ,3rd ,4th ,5th ,6th  and 7th federation out of  1,643 birds and also taking the top 10 positions in their own very competitive club against 349 birds. This partnership have been on fire over the past few weeks taking 1st , 2nd  and 3rd fed Arniston comeback race and 11th , 12th  and 13th fed in the 1st  young birds race of the season also from Arniston.


                                                 John Grant 1st Fed Dunbar YB                                            Stevie McGovern 1st Fed Dunbar YB

First through the trap for the partnership to record 1st fed is a gift bird from a very good friend of the partnership, Stuart McIntosh of Saltcoats. Stuart himself no longer races pigeons but keeps a few stock birds that he breeds from. Over the years Stuart has gifted the partnership 6 young birds each year to race in the young bird races to try out his birds for him. Taking 2nd and 3rd fed for the partnership were two Koopman bred birds down off birds they purchased from one of the top breeding studs “Galaxy Lofts”. John and Stevie young birds are mostly darkness youngsters and they have been playing about with the birds flying them on a type of roundabout system. The partnership is hard trainers with their birds and had them at their clubs midweek race as well from Carnwath prior to going to Dunbar on the Saturday so well done lads.

In and around Ayrshire clubs starting with the North Section who sent 786 birds.

Dalry HS sent 344 birds: 1st & 2nd Mr.  & Mrs Ramsay & Son 1146 & 1146, 3rd Jim Shepherd 1119.

Ardeer HS. 349 birds: 1st, 2nd and 3rd Grant & McGovern 1164, 1164 and 1163.

Kilwinning HS. 52 birds: 1st & 3rd J & T Davidson 1026 & 952. 2nd I Crossan 977.

Central Section: 518 birds:

Kilmarnock Invitation 155 birds: 1st & 3rd J & A Bunce 1016 & 983. 2nd I Scope 1006.

Crosshouse HS. 101 birds: 1st and 2nd I Noble 1038 and 1027, 3rd A McCullen 964.

Darvel HS. 152 birds: 1st J & R Bryson 1076, 2nd &3rd Cowan & Findlay 1074 & 1074.

Irvine HS. 151 birds: 1st 2nd & 3rd E Diamond 1094, 1094 & 1090.

South Section: 339 birds:

Mauchline 30 birds: 1st & 2nd J Watters 884 & 848, 3rd E Stewart 831.

Cumnock & Dist. No bird’s race marked.

Dalmellington. 14 birds:  1st W Mullen 732.

Carrick & Dist. 16 birds: No result returned.

Whitletts & Dist. 101: 1st N Young 1011, 2nd & 3rd Boyd Bros 1009 & 998.

Annbank & Dist. 178: 1st D Graham 1023, 2nd & 3rd K Harris 989 & 987.


Almond Valley Federation

From the Stobs Camp race flown on 5th August the convoy of 1391 birds were liberated at 07:45 hours taking the number one spot is Ian Jamieson of Balerno with a velocity of 1152. George Harris of Forth & Clyde is 2nd & 3rd with D McBeath of Armadale in 4th 5th 6th 7th & 8th open the 9th & 15 places go to J Clark of Armadale with club mate J Burnside taking the next 13 places.

Club Winners are as follows;

Armadale 454 birds; 1st 2nd 3rd & 4th D McBeath

Balerno 186 birds; 1st I Jamieson 2nd & 3rd D Bald 4th C Bain

Carnwath 117 birds; 1st 2nd 3rd & 4th Thomson Bros

East Calder 107 birds; 1st 2nd 3rd & 4th F Jamieson & Son

Forth & Clyde 359 birds; 1st 2nd 3rd & 4th G Harris

West Calder 168 birds; 1st 2nd 3rd & 4th John Bird

Balerno RPC news from Colin Bain who writes ‘Hi Joe from our Otterburn race on 12th August we had 180 birds liberated into a north east wind at 13-30 hours. 1st is Dougie Bald with a chequer hen her sire won 1st young bird open; 1st federation Thirsk; 2nd federation Selby; 3rd young bird Newark; 1st open federation Peterborough. The dam has a 1st & 3rd wins to her name. 2nd club is Ian Jamieson with a blue hen doing 1074 with 3rd & 4th going to Dougie the 4th bird the same way bred as the winner, best wishes Joe yours Colin B’.  


East of Scotland Federation

News from John Baillie who writes ‘Hi Joe  Results for our 3rd young bird race with the birds basketed on Friday night for a race from Tow Law on the Saturday. Due to bad weather at race point Bobby Graham decided to bring the birds back to Ridsdale hoping for the weather to clear during the afternoon. He had the birds away at 13-55 into a light north wind. The youngsters made easy work of it again with only a few losses and taking the top position we have Tom & Scott McEwen partnership from Elphinstone. In 2nd, 3rd, 7th, 8th & 9th is yours truly John Baillie from Tranent. With Rab Waddell of Prestonpans taking 4th open; the 5th open position goes to John Bird of Prestonpans with the 6th & 10th positions going to Jim McNeil of Tranent.

Prestonpans Homing Club; winning this week are Tom & Scott McEwen with a blue cock his sire is bred from a full brother to Bob's Choice when paired to a full sister of the Gypsy, both parents bred by Paul Stobbs. The dam is bred through Mark Gilbert's Ted and Magnus lines. Taking 2nd and 3rd positions is John Baillie. Both blue cocks which are brothers their sire is a Vandenabeele who has won SNFC prizes and bred numerous fed prize winners. The dam of the young cocks is a Van Loon who had won 6 x 1st prizes and 2 x SNFC prizes including 9th open Ypres before coming to Tranent. That’s it for another week Joe cheers for now John B’.

Fife Federation

From the Alnwick young bird race flown on the 12th August the 1887 birds were liberated at 14-20 into a light north wind. Taking the first 2 places in the federation is Tam Laing of Kennoway with son in law Brian Chalmers taking the next 2 places plus 7th & 8th open. Brian Kinnear of Glenrothes and Leslie club wins 5th 6th 9th & 10th open federation.

East  Section had St Andrews sending 142 birds; Methilhaven 144 birds; Leven 164 birds Kennoway 200 birds and Tayport 85 birds the first 2 places are won by Tam Laing with Brian Chalmers taking the next 7 places and Jim & Gary Peggie of Methilhaven club wins 10th section.

Centre section had Glenrothes sending 149 birds; Novar 124 birds. Brian Kinnear takes the first 9 place with club mates Turpie & McCord in 10th spot.

West Section had Perth sending 160 birds; Crossgates 308 birds; Dunfermline 221 birds and Lochgelly 190 birds. Taking the first 7 places in the section is G Anderson of Perth with McCord & Turpie winning 8th & 9th places and the last spot goes to Willie Stark of Lochgelly; my thanks to Geordie Todd for the result.


Pentland Hills Federation

News from Andy Miller who writes ‘Hi Joe, Pentland Hills Fed & New Lothian were racing from Ridsdale after the birds were brought back from Tow Law due to poor weather. The birds made short work of it and returns were excellent with only the odd one or two missing. Winning both organisations is Freddie Robertson and silent partner David who timed their club breeder/buyer young cock bred by Davie Allen from Woodburn, from his Foxwood Lofts Geerinckx family of pigeons that are flown on the darkness system. Federation result still to follow;

New Lothian had 61 lofts sending 2013 birds; winning 1st & 10th position is F Robertson of Danderhall club with S Gilchrist of Edinburgh Premier in 2nd & 3rd places. A Young of Danderhall is 4th with Willie Kinnear & sons of the same club in 5th & 7th positions. Halley & Kelly of Woodburn club are 6th with J Douglas of New Lothian in 8th position. Edinburgh Premier members Hutton Son & McCaig are 9th.  


North of Scotland Federation

News from George Duthie who writes ‘Hi Joe we were at Arniston with 46 members sending 845 birds liberated into a west to north west wind. The East section had 25 members sending 583 birds and taking the first 3 places in both the section and federation are Jim & Ann Donaldson of Peterhead & District. Club mate Stuart Maskame is 4th & 5th also in both with other Peterhead members Clint & M Williams taking the next 3 places. A W Buchan of Fraserburgh & District also takes the nest 3 places in the section and open. The west section had 21 members sending 262 birds winning 1st 2nd & 3rd section 28th 29th & 30th open is J Abel of Devern Valley. A J Reid of Keith is 4th & 5th west section 33rd & 34th open. A Milne of Devern Valley is 6th & 7th west section 36th & 37th open with the next 2 open places going to G R Duncan of Keith who also wins 8th & 9th west section and making up the top 10 in the section is A Wilson of Devern Valley who also win 40th open. Clubs First Bird

Peterhead & District winner J & A Donaldson; Fraserburgh & District winner W Buchan; Inverurie  winner R McKenzie; Devern Valley winner J Abel; Keith winner A J Reid; Fraserburgh West End winner R Higgins;  Elgin & District winners Jack & Reid; Buckie & District winner J Cumming. Well done to Jim & Ann on winning the federation and to J Abel on topping the west section. That’s it for another week Joe with not many races left before we know it the season will soon be all over, yours George’.


Joe’s Joke

Husband was throwing knives at his wife’s picture. All the knives were missing the target! Suddenly the phone rings and it’s his wife saying ‘Hi, what are you doing?’ His honest reply, ‘I’m MISSING YOU.’


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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