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We set out today with the increased corvids regulations that have been imposed in the Birmingham area. We set out in two vehicles and started to look for pigeons, DB had looked at a number of areas yesterday but they had shooters on them, when he inquired what they do with the pigeon the main reply was dump them and as they were lead shot we could not dispose of them for them.

So we set out at 09.00 looking and by 10.30 we rang each other and we had been looking at the same farms and found no birds at all to shoot. I had seen a small amount of corvids on a spring barley stubble so I gave the farmer a call , yes it was shot on wednesday and the birds went off and nothing returned was the reply. Now this barley field is next to a large field of fodder turnips and as it was a warm day in the past the birds would return to feed on the turnips in the afternoon for moisture. so we agreed to set up and have a go at the corvids for the farmer and hope that the pigeon would play ball in the afternoon. We set up with six fresh pigeon with one on a flapper. As we were after corvids as well we did not put out a magnet as in our expirience they spook the corvids. I put out six crows at the left of our pattern. All set up at 11.30 and the first call on the primos and we had a customer straight away. After the first hour we had twenty crows and twenty seven pigeons. This continued into the afternoon and by 15.00 we had a hundred of each and as we had predicted the pigeons were making for the turnip field so we had them coming in to the decoys on the way in and when we shot they spooked off the turnips and back to our decoys. It just went manic with birds coming from all directions to the turnips. We finished shooting at 18.00 and picked up two hundred and sixtyfour pigeons and one hundred and eleven corvids. It took and age to pack up and Ive just had my tea at 21.15. The concern I have with stubble shooting is that you can end up with mega bags which are difficult to process. But I'm not complaining. My only concern is that I will be unable to reply to any comments from my iPad

[img]https://i.ibb.co/cg22WM6/100-3518.jpg[/img]

 

264 Pigeons and 111 Corvids

 

100_3519.JPG

Edited by pigeon controller
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  • 2 weeks later...

Great report, and a mighty fine effort!  Hats off to you, many other shooters wouldn't have been able to drag anywhere near as good a result out of that day ;)

I read with interest about the stubble turnips and how they are attracting pigeons.  On the patch I keeper for our game shoot there's a block of meadows (about 40 acres) which are managed for a high grass yield that initially gets cut for silage and then grazed on for the rest of the year.  The farm has decided to plough up and re-drill them next spring, so in the mean time they've direct drilled stubble turnips into it (done early August) and plan to leave it until the other meadows have been grazed off before moving the sheep over.

Currently the turnips have got to a leaf growth of around 3-4 inches high.  The meadows are in between my roosting woods where the pens are and two of the drives I feed my pheasants out to.  Well I would feed them out to the drives if they weren't al in the turnips!  Every chance I've had in the last two weeks I've had to get out there and herd the birds off the meadows and into the drives.  There's also been a fair number of pigeons on them as well.

The farm manager thinks the birds are going for slugs which apparently like to decimate the turnips. I can well believe that for the pheasants but would the pigeons be chomping on slugs out of preference, considering all the other available food at the moment?  The turnips are supposed to be around 17% protein which is a fair bit less than clover.  I thought they might be going for something that was growing between the turnips but I haven't pinned it down yet.

Might be time to dust off a few decoys and get the hushpower out of the cabinet if this carries on!

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12 hours ago, Jim Neal said:

Great report, and a mighty fine effort!  Hats off to you, many other shooters wouldn't have been able to drag anywhere near as good a result out of that day ;)

I read with interest about the stubble turnips and how they are attracting pigeons.  On the patch I keeper for our game shoot there's a block of meadows (about 40 acres) which are managed for a high grass yield that initially gets cut for silage and then grazed on for the rest of the year.  The farm has decided to plough up and re-drill them next spring, so in the mean time they've direct drilled stubble turnips into it (done early August) and plan to leave it until the other meadows have been grazed off before moving the sheep over.

Currently the turnips have got to a leaf growth of around 3-4 inches high.  The meadows are in between my roosting woods where the pens are and two of the drives I feed my pheasants out to.  Well I would feed them out to the drives if they weren't al in the turnips!  Every chance I've had in the last two weeks I've had to get out there and herd the birds off the meadows and into the drives.  There's also been a fair number of pigeons on them as well.

The farm manager thinks the birds are going for slugs which apparently like to decimate the turnips. I can well believe that for the pheasants but would the pigeons be chomping on slugs out of preference, considering all the other available food at the moment?  The turnips are supposed to be around 17% protein which is a fair bit less than clover.  I thought they might be going for something that was growing between the turnips but I haven't pinned it down yet.

Might be time to dust off a few decoys and get the hushpower out of the cabinet if this carries on!

Hi Jim, our turnip field is in a valley between two roosting woods not on our permissions and he always grows turnips on one of the fields. There is no surface water close so we have found they use the turnips for moisture on hot summer afternoons along with the chickweed earlier in the year as the turnips are growing. I'm not sure about the slug population but shot birds just seem to have turnip leaves in them. I hope you get some action with the Hushpower.

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Pigeons are not meat eaters and I'd be very surprised if the pigeons were full of slugs, well, not of the garden variety anyway. Corvids maybe have a penchant for slugs but I've never autopsied one.

Incidentally, a fine bag of avian pests. I'd settle for a tenth of that number!

Edited by Balotelli
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On 30/09/2020 at 12:10, Balotelli said:

Pigeons are not meat eaters

This one quite fancied what I can only presume is the remnants of somebody's discarded chicken tikka sandwich!  (yes I gave it a sniff to identify but stopped short of tasting)

I think as a general rule you're correct, pigeons will favour easily and quickly obtainable vegetable-based meals for their diet although I have emptied snails out of their crops before.  Pheasants, on the other hand, will quite happily devour one of their own if it expires in the pen.  Quite chilling to watch!  They're definitely opportunistic omnivores.

pigeon tikka.jpg

Edited by Jim Neal
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On 30/09/2020 at 11:46, pigeon controller said:

Hi Jim, our turnip field is in a valley between two roosting woods not on our permissions and he always grows turnips on one of the fields. There is no surface water close so we have found they use the turnips for moisture on hot summer afternoons along with the chickweed earlier in the year as the turnips are growing. I'm not sure about the slug population but shot birds just seem to have turnip leaves in them. I hope you get some action with the Hushpower.

Thanks PC.  In the case of the pheasants, they would definitely not have been on the turnips for moisture because they had strayed away from a trail of feeders and water tubs taking them along a hedge from the pen to the drive!  I can't speak for the pigeons... they probably wouldn't initially know what the water tubs are but I'm sure they'd learn pretty quick, crafty ****!  They soon work out where to find wheat.

These turnips on my bit were drilled much later than I understand is normal for such a crop.  I guess I'll never know!

Hushpower still in the cabinet, they seem to have deserted it now

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