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Mightymariner

Bean seedlings

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I haven't been shooting much recently, mostly looking and keeping an eye on fields.

I did manage to get out recently though on some beans.

What was interesting was that the pigeons were scratching up and eating the emerging seedlings.

I know many will disagree but I saw them doing it and on walking the field, could see several places where they had done this and an indentation in the ground was visible.

Other than that, I haven't seen many pigeons recently. I have seen lots of humans walking all over farmland where no public footpaths or bridleways exist.

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I have been asked to shoot tomorrow on a permission, the farmer has said pigeons are hitting a drilled wheat field en mass could I go shoot them to protect the crop. (spoke to police and have gotten all relevant authorisation, perm starts within 500yards of my house just noting this to avoid offending anyone thinking im putting anyone at risk) Odd thing is the field has just started showing emerging plants after being direct drilled approx. a week ago and apparently they are doing the same thing- pulling up the seedlings and eating the lot. All of this is on the say so of the farmer which I have no reason to doubt but will see for myself in the morning when I go to help him out so perhaps this is a new tactic to the pigeons or maybe one they just never usually get caught using as they are shot off the drilling before this? who knows. Good shooting and stay safe 👍

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In the past few days I have noticed quite a few pigeons on some Beans that are about an inch high. I have not stopped yet to see if they are nipping the shoots off or pulling them up or neither. I don’t recall seeing pigeons eating Bean plants/leaves certainly not in the same way as they do peas.

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I first saw this occurring around 30 years ago but it seemed to lessen with the new drilling machines that 'blow' the seed into the ground deeper.  Birds were only really feeding on the headland where the machine turned, but occasionally there would be a field sown shallower and birds used the spritting seed as a guide. 

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I haven't seen this myself and always doubted that pigeons could scrat but obviously they can.

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i think they could be eating it their reasoning is strange have plenty of peas on the surface but the pigeons are back on the bare patches in the rape they definitely know the peas are there having seen around fifty feeding maybe they are trying to confuse me 

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3 hours ago, KillStone said:

I have been asked to shoot tomorrow on a permission, the farmer has said pigeons are hitting a drilled wheat field en mass could I go shoot them to protect the crop. (spoke to police and have gotten all relevant authorisation, perm starts within 500yards of my house just noting this to avoid offending anyone thinking im putting anyone at risk) Odd thing is the field has just started showing emerging plants after being direct drilled approx. a week ago and apparently they are doing the same thing- pulling up the seedlings and eating the lot. All of this is on the say so of the farmer which I have no reason to doubt but will see for myself in the morning when I go to help him out so perhaps this is a new tactic to the pigeons or maybe one they just never usually get caught using as they are shot off the drilling before this? who knows. Good shooting and stay safe 👍

Killstone 

 

What did the police say ? Did they suggest you carry a letter of authorisation in case you are stopped or simply get on with it ? 
 

Hitman 

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27 minutes ago, the hitman said:

Killstone 

 

What did the police say ? Did they suggest you carry a letter of authorisation in case you are stopped or simply get on with it ? 
 

Hitman 

called 101 they've just asked if I can call back in the morning with details of vehicles and shooters then they will log it and provide me the log code which should any officers stop me I can show them and thatll sort any problems. Carry on as normal just to inform them once I finish. They were very polite and no issue regarding lockdown was even mentioned so I can only assume they were exercising common sense which was refreshing. In fact they thanked me for getting in touch to avoid unnecessary call outs! If it is as easy as that in the morning (which I cant see why not) then it will have been very painless. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow if you like 👍

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17 hours ago, Mightymariner said:

I haven't been shooting much recently, mostly looking and keeping an eye on fields.

I did manage to get out recently though on some beans.

What was interesting was that the pigeons were scratching up and eating the emerging seedlings.

I know many will disagree but I saw them doing it and on walking the field, could see several places where they had done this and an indentation in the ground was visible.

Other than that, I haven't seen many pigeons recently. I have seen lots of humans walking all over farmland where no public footpaths or bridleways exist.

This would be a revelation on pigeon behavior, we know rook.crows do this, I like, JDog have always believed they didn't/could not scratch. Are you sure it's not just seeds that are only partly covered and when they grab it a small hole is left?

On the other hand, what's to stop them learning a new trick to counter the modern (better) drilling machines? This would also be of great use on stubbles, where much of the loose seed is covered by chaff. Pheasants can scratch it away.

Do you all remember blue tits pecking the foil tops off milk bottles? They even knew which was full cream.  I bet they have forgotten that skill in most areas. It's all what the parents teach them I expect.  In the UK birds (blackbirds, chickens etc) scratch by standing on one leg and using the other to clear stuff away. (Blackbirds also clear leaves by picking them up in their beak) In Canada, some of the small birds do " The Canadian Two-step" to scratch, jump forward with both feet, grab the obstacle to feeding, them jump back quickly before they fall over. All done in half a second. Wild turkeys use the UK method. 

Yes, I'm bored!!

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I had a very good day (127)about 4 years back on emerging beans ! Strange I know as I always thought as others ,it doesn’t happen but on this occasion the pigeons were hitting the field hard for a week or so !  So I learned something new that day 

stay safe all stu

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On 18/04/2020 at 20:58, the hitman said:

Cheers

Hope you have a good day 👍

Rang again this morning. No issues just few details given as asked and I was given a log number and told you shouldn’t have any problems as we know you’re out. Had no issues all day and to top it off had a fantastic day shooting a mixed bag of crows and pigeons total bag :138 👌🏼 So very happy as is the farmer crows decoyed brilliantly pigeons not quite so much but you’ll see all in my next couple videos when I get time 😀

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10 minutes ago, KillStone said:

Rang again this morning. No issues just few details given as asked and I was given a log number and told you shouldn’t have any problems as we know you’re out. Had no issues all day and to top it off had a fantastic day shooting a mixed bag of crows and pigeons total bag :138 👌🏼 So very happy as is the farmer crows decoyed brilliantly pigeons not quite so much but you’ll see all in my next couple videos when I get time 😀

Well done - great result 

sounds like a great day out 👍

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I also have never seen pigeons scratching the ground with their feet (like chickens do), I have seen pigeons sideways scratching with their beaks on light soils, but I would hardly call it digging.

With regards pigeons taking the leaves of newly shooting beans, this again is something I have never witnessed although on a couple of occasions I have shot on a field of sprouting beans but the birds were feeding on newly emerging weeds and bits of old corn left from the previous crop.

another occasion was a field of beans about two inches high, there were around 200 hundred pigeons just walking the field, from a distance it looked like they were feeding on the bean shoots but upon walking the area I could see no signs of any damage to the bean shoots, in fact I could see no reason for them being on this field.

Never say never but I would like to see some pictures of the damage to sprouting beans, pigeon will take some of the sprouting beans that are on the top and just visible, but as for digging down to get at the beans this is something I have yet to see.   

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I have never ever seen pigeons digging, or scratching at beans, in fact I have never had great success on shooting pigeons over sprouting beans.
Most of those I have shot were when I was actually crow/rook shooting , now they do like sprouting beans.
As has been mentioned, if these fields were direct drilled on stubbles, it may be that the pigeons were feeding on emerging weed seeds. 

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24 minutes ago, Cranfield said:

I have never ever seen pigeons digging, or scratching at beans, in fact I have never had great success on shooting pigeons over sprouting beans.
Most of those I have shot were when I was actually crow/rook shooting , now they do like sprouting beans.
As has been mentioned, if these fields were direct drilled on stubbles, it may be that the pigeons were feeding on emerging weed seeds. 

Love a good day on the blacks, one of my favourite crops is newly emerging maize, I find that when its about an inch or so high and we have had some rain to soften the soil they go mad for it, they walk the rows gently pulling up the seeds, don’t take them long to strip row after row.

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On 20/04/2020 at 15:56, Mightymariner said:

I will have another look tomorrow and report back.

and??

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9 minutes ago, Mightymariner said:

Yes, I had a look on Tuesday. No birds on any of the bean fields. So maybe it was a quirk.

Did you walk the field to see if the pigeons had done any damage to the emerging beans?

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2 weeks ago i watched 500 pigeon on a bean field drilled 4 weeks previous they were virtually running i walked out on it couldnt find any old beans or emerging went back 2 days later still on it shot 25 and could just see the smallest green tips emerging. The way they were running to get in front with necks outstretched and heads down you would think they were after hatching insects, i know it sounds silly !!

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14 minutes ago, dad said:

2 weeks ago i watched 500 pigeon on a bean field drilled 4 weeks previous they were virtually running i walked out on it couldnt find any old beans or emerging went back 2 days later still on it shot 25 and could just see the smallest green tips emerging. The way they were running to get in front with necks outstretched and heads down you would think they were after hatching insects, i know it sounds silly !!

Not silly at all, some years back I was shooting over some winter rape, on feeling the crops of a couple of the pigeon they felt like they were full of jelly, when I pulled them open they were packed full of black slugs, so they may have been chasing insects, its quite surprising what pigeons will eat, there’s a couple of big ash trees on some rough ground at the back of my house, the pigeons have been eating the buds and new growth for the last week or so.

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Saw 50 on beans today drilled 4 weeks and about 1 1/2 in showing, shown no interest till now when walked still bean on surface, make of that what you will.

Also 200+ on drilled barley that's been in over 3 weeks and showing, shot 21 on this field 2 weeks ago and not seen a bird on till today, strange don't you think? 

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