I do not know how many watched Winterwatch on the BBC, it does show that racing pigeons are often in the minds of others. A chap in America is running trials where a pigeon can identify cancer, it is in the early stages but they are carrying on with tests so who knows whether this will be good publicity for the sport or not. They have also done trials with dogs looking for cancer in people.
Then the following night, on the final programme, they were showing the Red Kites in Wales. No wonder the Welsh fanciers are having problems with BOP. There were 100 breeding pairs and as we watched, the presenter was talking to the man behind the protected area, he said there were about 200 in the air above them. Then of course they were saying there were a lot more.
The next subject was Peregrine Falcons that are in Wales, no wonder there are so many complaints about them. The breeding programmes that they have for the BOP population are unbalancing the spread of birds. On two occasions I have spoken to members on stands for the RSPB and when you tell them what is happening, they say that is not the case. As far as many are concerned, they have no idea what they are talking about and the damage they are causing to the bird population. There should be no protection of any wild bird, they should leave them alone to live a wildlife and the fittest will survive.
At one time we could sit and watch the birds in the garden, but those numbers have reduced considerably. I totally disagree with the breeding boxes that are put up in towns for the BOP to nest and rear their young.
I do not know if anyone else has seen this happen, but I have written about the wood pigeons rearing in the trees in the garden before. I remember pigeon fanciers in my early days saying we shouldn’t pair the pigeons until the wild birds start to build their nests. One belief was that we should pair the racing pigeons when the Crows are building high in the trees, sign of a good summer. I have not seen the wood pigeons breed as early as they have this year, I say that because we were sitting in the conservatory having a brew when I saw two young wood pigeons about 30 days old in the holly tree. When I pointed them out, remember we are talking the second week in January, Elizabeth said that these two young wood pigeons had been coming down onto the lower branches of the tree for a few days. Even with Elizabeth feeding the wild birds I have never seen them so early and they are looking in good condition, they were lacking nothing. These young Woodies must have been in the nest when all that snow and freezing weather was with us. Times are certainly changing even in the wild.
You know when the unexpected crops up, well I say unexpected because Ebony has said in the past, she would like to do something with animals. I had a text recently informing me that Ebony now wants to take pigeons up and suggested Crowley & Parkinson. I know from when she was noticeably young, she always said she wanted something to do with animals/pets. It would be nice to think she would take to pigeons but whether or not that will happen is another matter. Not sure about cleaning out, I think she might expect someone else to do that, I can imagine her looking at the droppings and saying, ooh, pooh and leaving it. Having said that, we might get a big surprise and she tucks into doing everything required from a pigeon fancier. We could think all sorts, but she just might have what it takes to be a pigeon fancier, we all get surprised at some time or another.
Mr & Mrs Nigel Shaw
I have known Nigel & Wendy for quite a few years and they have come a long way with everything they have done. When they moved to their previous address and were on track for everything they wanted to do. I was thinking Nigel would start to spend more time with the pigeons, mind you wherever they have lived they have won. Then there were changes in the air when they were told that HS2 would be going through their property, so a hunt was on for another place. I asked Nigel several times where they were moving to, but he was keeping quiet until everything was signed and sealed.
When they moved, we thought they would miss a year or so racing but that was not the case because when they moved in the first job was to sort the lofts out and that they did. What was more surprising was the speed that they moved the pigeons, got them broken and started to race, not quite as fast as me when we moved here but they were on the ball. They have now more or less finished the new bungalow that they have built and are moving on to the original house next and then converting the outbuildings.
The lofts have also grown considerably since the first one was erected, and they have more pigeons now than I have ever seen them have and last year they flew a real good pigeon. It did not take them long to get an established team and start to show in the bigger races. They have soon found a few gem’s in the race and breeding lofts and have now built a good line around the “Battenburgh Cock” whose offspring will no doubt be showing up over the next few years. Perhaps by the end of the year I will call in and see how the team are going on, providing Covid-19 clears itself away.
Les J Parkinson. 11 Rushton Drive, Middlewich, Cheshire, CW10 0NJ.
Tel: 01606836036 - Mobile: 07871701585.