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Thoughts by Les. J Parkinson



It’s always nice to get feedback when any scribe puts pen to paper, or in this day and age, fingers to the keyboard. There many different views on what we do in any walk of life, but in this case, it is about the sport we love so much. Here is an email regarding the article on the BOP a couple of weeks ago.


“Hi Les,


We've emailed before and I really enjoy exploring your website. I just wanted to say how much I am enjoying reading your ' thoughts ' on the wonderful sport of pigeon racing. 


I'm now in my 60's and would really like to be involved in the sport once again but this sport has changed so much over the years, so many obstacles,  BOP, inoculation etc. In my day we gave cod liver oil, fed beans/peas etc. trained and treated for canker mostly!


Today, there's so much to consider.  


I reported a ring I found in woodland near me and the guy who rang me to tell me about the bird the ring belonged to, he explained that today you can send 20 birds training and expect 16 back, whereas in my day we would expect, usually, a full return.


Please keep your articles and 'thoughts' on the sport coming, really enjoying them and the wisdom of your experiences. 

Regards. Keith, Cheshire” 



If I was sending 20 to a training toss, I would expect them all back, if not I would be looking at what birds I had in the loft, are they good enough? What I will say is there might be an odd occasion when there is a problem with any toss if a BOP appears on the scene and frightens them. What might happen is they shoot off in all directions, but they generally arrive home except the one the BOP might have taken.



However, when we are entering them in the races, we don’t have control of them, because they can be liberated when we as fanciers would not liberate our own birds. These are the times when we see a lot of losses, times when we sit there wondering “Why” and never getting a satisfactory answer.   



In some areas where there are more than a reasonable number of BOP, fanciers could well have big losses, but we cannot all work on that basis. I have to say I do feel sorry for fanciers who are in an area where there are an excessive number of BOP it must be sole destroying at times. You work all winter to breed a good team of pigeons and then when you let them out you see a BOP going into them and away, they go. Thankfully they are not chasing the pigeons all the year round in big numbers. They will still take them but, during the breeding season, they take far more.



Mind you after the two disastrous weekends racing in early to mid-May many fanciers cannot afford to lose anymore. After three days many fanciers were still around half of their birds missing. With these losses the biggest losers will be the specialist clubs, we have had this happen in the past, and no doubt will happen again in the future. There are some good experienced race controllers about, and some need more experience, especially when it comes to racing from across the channel. Being a race controller is a hard job and not one that I would want.



I once asked a very good race controller how he managed to avoid having disastrous races, to which he replied, “I make a lot of phone calls, to people I know and trust” I suppose the problem is finding such people who are prepared to be available and answer the phone on a race day.



Yes, Keith that’s where most birds are lost, in races, I would not expect them to be lost in numbers from a training toss, unless they are in an area where there is an excess of BOP knocking about especially in the breeding season.



Nephew Wayne is back into the habit of having pigeons and has a young bird and stock loft at his new home. He was saying that he had 10 young birds and they are all flying out and ranging, so he is pleased with the way they are going so far. Wayne also said that the neighbours appear to be happy that he has pigeons, mind you he did say he was only having a few as an interest. I can here pigeon men saying to themselves, “I’ve heard that one before”



As you can see, he has a new breed that are a bit big for the trap’s, he must be getting them ready for another type of race, it certainly won’t be for racing pigeons.



Just wondering if having chickens will add to his health issues, as we know Wayne has suffered with breathing difficulties in the past, only time will tell.



He is going to apply to a club in Newmarket to race the young birds and with him working mostly in the Royston area he is in a good position to train them. Wayne was saying that Royston is about 25mls south of where he now lives so what a great position to be in to train the birds on a daily basis. Training is always a bit of a problem if you have to do it yourself, it is so time consuming.

As the saying goes, "God loves a tryer"

Chris photos


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