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Pigeons just not interested.


JDog
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This pea field was harvested last week. It was too late and the crop had gone flat.

The picture shows a typical amount of peas left under the swath. Pigeons are over flying the field to get to a month old rape stubble. How does that work?

20210912_121759.jpg

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Pigeons are so habit driven, it can be annoying sometimes. If they’ve become habituated on a certain crop or gathering place, they can take some shifting. 
 

Try putting some decoys on the pea field for a few days - see if they start gathering. 
 

They have been behaving strangely in my area too. The other day I set up in a very pigeony stubble field where hundreds of pigeons had been flighting in. It’s flanked by woods on 3 sides. One wood is very big….about half a mile long and a few hundred yards wide. From about 11am large flocks of several hundred gathered in the sky, swooping a flaring like starlings do, only to then settle in the big wood. Now and then I would get a shot and huge numbers of pigeons would lift out of the trees, only to settle back in again. I haven’t seen so many for years. I only shot 15…?! Rarely did they decoy. 

Why on earth were they gathering in the woods? Too early for beach mast. Acorns…maybe? They didn’t appear to be feeding though, just sitting. 

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I don't know what the reason is but you won't shoot many if they are settling in a nearby wood, the birds in the trees will just draw in passing birds. Can you hang a crow scarer in there? failing that fire as many cartridges as you need to, to prevent them settling in the wood.

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1 hour ago, Fellside said:

Pigeons are so habit driven, it can be annoying sometimes. If they’ve become habituated on a certain crop or gathering place, they can take some shifting. 
 

Try putting some decoys on the pea field for a few days - see if they start gathering. 
 

They have been behaving strangely in my area too. The other day I set up in a very pigeony stubble field where hundreds of pigeons had been flighting in. It’s flanked by woods on 3 sides. One wood is very big….about half a mile long and a few hundred yards wide. From about 11am large flocks of several hundred gathered in the sky, swooping a flaring like starlings do, only to then settle in the big wood. Now and then I would get a shot and huge numbers of pigeons would lift out of the trees, only to settle back in again. I haven’t seen so many for years. I only shot 15…?! Rarely did they decoy. 

Why on earth were they gathering in the woods? Too early for beach mast. Acorns…maybe? They didn’t appear to be feeding though, just sitting. 

Probably young birds - they often gather up and rush about.

Were any of the 15 you shot young  - no white collar ?? 

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Hi I’ve seen pigeons avoiding pea fields many times, a farmer once said to me would you eat them dried up things. The pigeons are feeding on grubbed stubble as soon as it is worked.They followed the tractor almost as fast as the gulls. Pigeons have been in large flocks for a month, sitting in trees most of the day and feeding later in the afternoon. I was shooting pigeons today, they flew around low and fast and didn’t go far unusual for this time of the year.They flew like racing pigeons flying around the loft. The best time for me to decoy is late afternoon, the pigeons have been feeding till very late. It’s like they all get hungry at the same time.   I’ve not had any pigeons with acorns in the crop, mainly small seed and grain. A few today with (new) rape leaves. Hard grain and peas must need a lot of grit for the pigeons to digest it .

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Just goes to show after months and months that roll into years sitting in a pigeon hide and trying to observe their habits and way of life we still can't work it all out , we know where they should be if they play ball but when they have other plans we can't compete with their way of thinking and once again we are beat .

We have got two fields of Bean stubbles in a very good area of the estate and yes their are some pigeons beginning to find the loose Beans , note I only said some as some are still on the Wheat stubbles , some are on old Rape stubbles , some on some old Rye stubbles and the list can go on with some Spring barley stubbles on other parts of the estate , yes you can shoot a few pigeons and at least you see pigeons going backwards and forwards and now and again one take a detour and give you a shot , in other words , enough to keep you happy :good:

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1 hour ago, stockybasher said:

Probably young birds - they often gather up and rush about.

Were any of the 15 you shot young  - no white collar ?? 

A few collarless young ones - but mainly mature adults to be honest. It was a very strange phenomenon. I’ve been shooting pig’s a long time, tuned in to their various habits etc, but I have never seen them gather in such huge numbers in woodland, in the middle of the day during harvest. Sometimes nature throws us a wildcard - and we don’t get to know the reasons behind it. 

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Pigeons feeding behaviour is so strange sometimes it’s hard to fathom. 
Peas have been my bumper crop this year from start to finish, even more so when sprayed off when the peas go rock hard. However an area not a million miles away they won’t be interested in them and go for cereal crops/stubbles instead, work that out? 
Certainly somewhere to keep an eye on, eh JDog 👍🏼

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Pigeons soon find food. For many years they have been feeding on the local salt marshes alongside teal and Canada geese in the winter. But different flocks still fed on rape. The pigeons roosted close to the salt marsh and flew in to feed very early and the noise and the flight of the geese never stopped them feeding. Pigeons from further away would fly in about 30 minutes later. The pigeons feed on small seeds that the teal feed on. On a spring tide l have seen pigeons walking away from the water still feeding as they moved. 

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Temperature does effect pigeons and all wildlife. The pigeons yesterday were sitting in the shade of oak trees and none of the pigeons l shot had acorn in there crops. When the nights get longer than the days pigeons will feed early and longer. This year pigeons where on oats,standing and laid. They are still on the oat stubble more than the wheat on the surrounding fields. Oats are normally safe from pigeons. The pigeons flying over the pea field won’t be able to see the amount of peas jdog show’s on his photo. They know where they are feeding and they will keep going. A friend checked a cut bean field for two weeks and not a pigeon on it. He gave up and a couple of days later the pigeons were on it.

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Pigeons are mystical beings! I have observed the same thing several times . I think that old rape stubbles can have a lot of chickweed & other plants coming through if they have not been sprayed off. Pigeons love those  sweet young leaves . An old friend of mine told me of a field of stubble that had been left in Fen shoot he managed where the weeds were coming through, two guns shot nearly 400 before they  run out of cartridges! 

 

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No flocks around here. Plenty of pairs and singletons, but rare to see more than a handful together. I have been scanning looking for somewhere they might decoy, not bothered building a hide and setting the decoys yet because they are so scattered. I spoke to a friend who has been trying, he has been getting one or two shots a day and that's it - he is very experienced not a newcomer and knows the ground well having shot around here for 50 years. They simply haven't gathered - they are still treading enthusiastically too. My total for this year (Jan 1st start) is 14.... not counting ferals. Had more ferals off the rooves of the barns than woodies.

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