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  1. Late October we invariably get an influx of pigeons from a NE to SW direction; Early morning(7.30- 9am) in the main but they can just now go on all day & number well into the thousands sometimes . I am just north of Hereford. Started this year about 22nd/23rd October but funnily enough not every day with two or three days when I noticed nothing. Every farmer in this area was drilling winter wheat around 22nd. & it just happened that they lifted the spuds in the fields behind my house at that time , ploughed behind the lifters & then drilled on some fairly wet ground. The next two days saw 3-400 pigeons on these fields after seeing nothing in this neck of the woods for months. Of course ,as a retired man with time on his hands I had to have a go... & had a very good bag. Could probably have shot it the next day as well as they all returned until the surface grain had gone. These birds seemed to be slightly smaller than the pigeons I shoot at other times of the year , nearly all were in the final stages of a moult with blood feathers over head & neck, but with only a very small percentage of young birds which you would expect at this time of the year. They are now all over the place on Hawthorn hedges (where there's a huge crop of berries around here) & have also started on the rape where there are patches. They would normally go onto the acorns at this time but we have no acorns at all this year unfortunately. The usual behaviour of this influx of birds is that they stay for a week or two & then seem to disperse or move on. They were still coming over yesterday , but with family commitments over the w/end I fear they may have moved on by the time I can get out again. Also the game dealer who usually takes my pigeons has had labour shortages this year ,& once the game season started was too busy to take any pigeons. This unfortunately limits my shooting as now my only outlets are pubs & restaurants which I trickle feed hoping to make enough freezer room to justify killing some more. Never perfect is it!
  2. pbutd

    Mammal ID

    Body shape , carriage & paler tail tip suggest pine marten?
  3. Looks like a dead piglet under a net in the foreground.
  4. Sounds like an exciting couple of hours shooting & it's good to read these reports when there are no opportunities in my neck of the woods as yet. However I would have to pull you up on your grammar GingerCat.... Surely the ever faithful Jasper could not be described as 'mad'? It would be an insult to his equally faithful owner. I think what has happened is that you've left out an 'and' after the word Jasper?
  5. Cool & professional video Simon6pcc... you deserve a conservation medal for the work you do protecting these species that are on a knife edge these days. At least the mindset of people on this forum will appreciate the job you do (and enjoy). The old boy at the end nearly brought a tear to my eye. Old and sentimental I think! Keep them coming.
  6. Cracking shooting there...you were really on form. There was one bird there that had obviously been shot at before & took quick & effective evasive action as soon as it saw you move to shoot. It swung down & to your right which just saved its life? The others were not so lucky. Great vid thanks.
  7. Love the water droplets on her head. Often see them when fishing & saw one diving into a very strong current on a river in Scotland once. How they don't get washed away is a mystery to me. Great pictures once again thanks.
  8. That last picture is something else GG. The yellow/green overtones of the Chiffchaff's plumage mirrors the colour of the algae between the cone bracts.Yet again you have smashed it with your patience & lenses. Hard to imagine that those tiny, thin legs carry skin,bone, tendons, arteries ,veins & nerves to their feet ..the same as ours. They're even skinnier than my wife's legs but not quite so bowed.
  9. No matter where they're looking ,they always look slightly angry. Fabulous picture (as usu).
  10. Good morning WalkedUp. We were shooting in Northeast Herefordshire & had a good view of the Malvern hills from that field. Farmer came & watched us with his new baby ( from his truck). I did tell him to go & get his gun as he has had little shooting this year, but he was too busy babysitting whilst his wife was out ( probably on her horse). A lot of the land around here has a red tinge to it & can be terracotta coloured after a shower of rain.
  11. Dave & I have blundered around all winter chasing pigeons through woods ,over fields of rape & under evaporating flightlines. Every week we load up the gear & set out to cover miles looking for our elusive quarry, sometimes spending most of the day in the vehicle with a desperate drive to a roost wood for a dozen birds as a 'better than nothing ' option. Over the last month we have watched three different fields being drilled with beans only to find not a single bird interested. Last weekend yet another 35 acres of beans were drilled ; I watched these drillings for three days & saw one crow & one pigeon in that time. Having nothing to go at again today we decided to cruise past just in case & what a surprise... Blue with them. We set up 150 metres apart ,both under oak trees that ran all the way up the field and was a natural flightline & needless to say both ran out of squibs by mid afternoon by which time it was not worth the journey home to re-stock. We are old codgers & were not expecting to find any number of pigeons to shoot ever again. You know how it is. Despite that we did very well & I think it will shoot again as there were plenty of beans still on the surface. But you all know what will happen then... too many cartridges probably. Crippling repeat journeys to the truck , six trips for me as Dave has a heart condition ( or so he says) & I couldn't face a trip to A&E after such a treat of a day. Picked up 198 after a circuit of the field with both dogs. Happy days.
  12. Washing soda crystals pushed straight down their throat is a bit unpleasant for the dog but it's what we always used to induce emesis in dogs in the old days before the advent of apomorphine. Mind you apomorphine can be just as unpleasant for some dogs. Was once found in every household in the laundry/ cleaning dept. You can still get washing soda crystals if you search. A crystal about the size/ shape of a raisin is enough. No point in giving it 2 hours after dog has eaten toxic substance but worth doing & will work before that. I have my doubts about panicking with chocolate below 70% cocoa solids & with raisins, grapes etc.. Has to be best practice when the vet is consulted though! Dicoumerol rat poisons are a different matter... get the crystals down their throat asap.
  13. A class act! If only every pigeon shooter could emulate this talented lad. The boredom of social isolation has led me into the depths of that video site; Watching numerous pigeon shooting vids which display the other end of the scale where the shooters seem happy to end the day having recorded the maiming of more birds than they record killed. We all miss but one shooter maimed birds & moved on to do the same on another bird with his second barrel. Mr .Bradley-Day has restored a bit of yang to even up my damaged video ying. Thanks for posting as hadn't discovered this one.
  14. Centrepin took the words right out of my mouth. Toy gun .." see how many pigeons you can shoot with Daddy"... might work?
  15. With your normal gun your bag might have been over 30 maybe. You've got to try these things.... but simple is usually best? Sounds like you have enough pigeons about to pin a few down eventually. Good report thanks.
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