One of the problems with having a prominent website is we are there for all to call to see if we can resolve a problem that they may have at the time. We do make time when we get these communications because we cannot ignore the non-fanciers around the country. The last thing we want to do is make the general public feel that we are not interested in our sport and if we do not at least point them in the right direction that is the conclusion that they will come too. We are a small sport as it is and we need all the support, or right thoughts on pigeon racing coming our way that we can. If we do not then we are never going to change the direction that pigeon racing is going. The following is an email that I received recently and one that I took time to answer. “Good Evening, I am not quite sure if you are the right people to talk to but here goes! This morning at my son’s house in Dunnotar Avenue, Eaglescliffe, a pigeon was attacked in the garden by a bird of prey and subsequently died. Inscribed on a blue ring was NEHU2021TV3916. There was also an orange ring. I know nothing about pigeons but assume it may have been a racing pigeon and someone would wish to know it is fate. My son has only been in the house for a few weeks and this is the second time he has witnessed an attack although on the first occasion the pigeon appeared to survive. Should you not be the right people to talk to perhaps you could advise me. Regards, Derek Lawson” I pointed him in what I believe was the right direct and he later came back to me to said he had made contact, but I have heard nothing since, let us hope he was satisfied with the end result. We have to be careful nowadays about giving details out, at one time we would help as much as possible but no longer, the law is not to be messed with because there is always someone sitting and waiting to drop you in it.
Still on the same subject I was talking to Frank Howard who was telling me that he is having a lot of BOP attacks which will probably happen more often at this time of the year with breeding in progress. I often wonder how many of the actual strays the BOP’s take or do they get wise and stay out of the way when they are about. The feral pigeons get street wise and probably know the best times to stay out of the way. I know there are a lot of stray’s about because I have started scanning roof panel’s to see if there are feral pigeons nesting under them. When I take the dog for a walk, I use two routes depending on the weather, the lane, which is my preference, gets very messy when there is rain about, so I do not go that way. The other day there had been a shower so I changed direction and scanned the rooftops to see if there were any pigeons on this route. I heard them before I saw them, calling to nests under the solar panels, so I decided that when I went again, I would count the number of pigeons that were hanging around these solar panels. From going out of the door, turning left into Algleave Close, across the lane heading down a cul-de-sac which I cannot remember its name and then back up Chadwick Road. By the time I had left Algleave and it is only about 180yds I counted 13 and a further 9 by the time I got back to Rushton Drive, where there were 3 chasing on the solar panels on our house. Now that I am setting up a racing loft, I am hoping that I can sort some of them out. I can see it happening and I will have no luck, the BOP will have mine for their daily meals and leave the local feral pigeons alone. Mind you if all goes well and I get everything done as hoped I may be able to sort the feral pigeons out because there are quite a few complaints about them locally, especially with the numbers increasing. The one thing I can tell people is, “If you have solar panels fitted make sure they are secured from birds going under them” I say that because we have had ours done and all these things cost a few bob to do.
Well Ebony rung the first youngsters in early April which are off the two pairs direct from Maurice Mattheeuws. Then we have the “Murphy’s Nationals” which are 2 pairs of red’s and mealies, Ebony wanted some colour, they are just about hatching out. I do have a problem with the first round because the loft will not be ready until the end of May and by then they might be a bit too old to move and get flying out. I was explaining to Ebony how I put the rings on with the ring on the pigeon’s right leg and upside down. I do it this way because when you hold the pigeon it is easy to read. So, when marking night comes along you pick the pigeon, read it the correct way round and feed its left leg into the ringer or to put it over the ETS system. I was also pointing out that when you are ringing the young birds it is always handy to have something like a toothpick on hand to bring the last of the toes through the ring. I am hoping that things go according to plan because we have a loft ordered a 24ft loft and discussed having a new fence all round but that will take a while because there will be best part of 40 panels altogether. Plus, we have been discussing with a tree surgeon about getting a terrible bamboo removed, if you are thinking of planting one of those, do not unless you keep it in a pot, they are a nightmare once in the open ground. Anyway, the stock birds are looking in A1 condition and the young birds are growing a bit faster than I expected, probably been away from the breeding side for far too long. Just hoping that everything goes well, and they can be moved to the new loft before they are too big. I did ask Ebony for her take on what we were doing, and she wrote her own piece which has been sent in, and I have had nothing to do with it at all, no direct influence from me.
From what I can gather most fanciers are not sure how racing is going to go especially the channel in the coming season but personally I do not see a problem for the fanciers in the UK. The only problem we may come across is racing from the continent because as we all know the French politicians do not like the British. What has made it worse is Brexit because they will be looking and thinking, if the UK make it big and according to an article I read in the Mail, we are going to bounce back quicker than any other country, the EU will not like that because they will be worried about others leaving the EU and they cannot treat everyone the way they are currently treating us. More like the younger generation just starting to learn their way in life making mistakes which we can all relate too. Many fanciers had the same feeling last year, but racing went ahead as expected to do this year, might be a delay but we will get there. On top of that they have been slow with their vaccination programme and are even having a go at us over that, they had the same opportunity, had both my jabs. I hear some organisations have already looked at North Road racing just in case we are limited to the UK. If that happens, here in Cheshire we can get about 260mls down to Sennen Cove and probably 350/400mls on the North, do not know that one because we have never raced from up in Scotland.
Les J Parkinson. 11 Rushton Drive, Middlewich, Cheshire, CW10 0NJ.