Jump to content

I feel like a beginner again!


Recommended Posts

Evening all, I don’t post a lot at all on here but I really do enjoy the reports, pictures, stories and general banter from afar. Any way thought I’d post my day out today and hopefully get some advice.

 

Iv been chasing pigeons from a very young age, I’d go out with the old man from when I could walk, to then sharing a hide with him with a fourten, later moving onto the 12. He has since more or less retired from shooting pigeons, since he shot a couple of hundred bird plus days and just let’s me and my nipper now get on with chasing the pigeons. He takes my nipper out, when I can’t due to having to work! He started the same as me. 70, 36 and 11 are all our ages. So we’re not new to it as such.

 

sorry, I have got away from the subject of today but just wanted to let you know that we’re not just starting out, as it may seem!

 

the farm we shoot is around 800 acres with a mix of wheat, winter barley, spring barley, peas and winter rape being the choice most years. This year no rape or peas were drilled and all summer has been a very hard slog with no pigeons in the area, not just our small patch. Father first started shooting pigeons on here in the mid 70’s so we know the ground pretty well. A syndicate has always released pheasant and partridge to shoot during the season and we have always been asked not to shoot pigeons during this time. We have always respected their wishes and so missed out on the autumn drill.

 

this year there are no pheasants down so we are free to come and go as we please to shoot pigeons. So today was the first time I have been up for a month, not expecting to see much.

Helping my wife with the calves this morning on the farm next door, I couldn’t help my self watching squabs drop into the clover on the grass fields. Around 5 or 6 small flocks with 20-30 birds in each,they would settle for maybe 30 seconds then get up, spiralling into the sky then settle down again. This happened a fair few times. 
 

Once we had finished we made the short drive next door. All the winter wheat has been drilled, the rape is up but is a bit backward, with stubble turnips drilled into this years stubble for the farmers sons sheep.

 

driving through a field of stubble turnip, there were maybe 100-150 pigeons, most of them squabs down on the field. I expect they were feasting on what the combine has left behind and not actually on the turnips.

 

on we go, not a pigeon flying. More fields of stubble turnips, not a pigeon on them, the rape is very patchy, I know it’s too early for them to be hitting the rape but thought I’d have a look just in case, nothing on the winter wheat drill that’s just starting to chit. So back we go to the first field of stubble turnips. All the pigeons we had seen had cleared off and not come back. 

I’m up here now so might as well make the most of it so set up on the turnips with 12 fuds and a magnet with a couple of pigeons from the freezer. More in hope than expecting a good bag. I spent an hour watching and hoping. A few pigeons would pass by, out of range from having a shot at and not really looking at coming in. 
 

I thought I’d go for a walk to try and find at least something flying on one of the past flight lines. All the local game shoots seemed to be out today, popping away at the pheasants and partridge so I thought they might push a few my way.

 

After walking up a couple of hedgerows that normally produce a few pigeons and they did, with two in my pocket, both squabs, I came to a field of drilled winter wheat. From where I had set up it was out of sight from my hide, and my walk to it. I had driven past it in the morning without a bird any where near it.

 

when I poked my head round the corner I could see a blue carpet covering most of the field. They hadn’t seen me but I could see them and so I decided to just tuck myself into the hedge and just observe for a while. I could see that probably 90% of the birds were again squabs. I’d estimate there were around 400-500 on the field. My heart sank! It was getting on for 1500 and I knew that by the time I’d packed up from my original setup, dragged it over then set up again it wouldn’t be worth it so decided to just sit and watch.

 

every 4-5 minutes the birds would get up from feeding, break into two big flocks, circle around high, then drop in again. This happened for a good 30 mins before they got up for the last time and headed off to the roost wood on the farm and didn’t come back. This was around 1530. 
 

I have never shot on autumn drill before, is this the normal pigeon behaviour? Is it this common to see squabs flocking up before the cold weather hits? I’m new to shooting pigeons at this time of year so any advice would be appreciated. 
 

im very sorry it’s a long post. I just wanted to detail as much as I could.

 

cheers, pete

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi yes I’ve noticed pigeons flocking up more over the last couple of years. I was shooting over wheat drilling’s this week and they were old and young birds in flocks. There was a lot of feral pigeons from a nearby factory feeding on the field and the woodpigeon just followed them back to the field when I shot. The factory is just across the road and I can see them take off from the roof, when they land in the field the woodpigeon came back and landed with them. Two buzzards and two sparrow hawks were flying around the field while I was shooting,they caught one coming in to my decoys and the buzzards took shot pigeons , but the woodpigeon wouldn’t go far before they came back. Two or three buzzards around that field would stop woodpigeon feeding , but not the feral pigeons. The young pigeons I shot weren’t squabs but they were very healthy. It seems like they just abandon a field and all move to the next one but not the nearest one. They have definitely changed feeding habits around me , when the crops are ripening they fly over them to a field maybe a mile away and even when shooting them hard they keep coming to it . I took photos of them this year to show my friend as it’s unusual, I will try and put them on . 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I drove past a decent flock on drilling’s yesterday on my way back from a shoot, looked like all squabs. Maybe lots of late broods with that little heatwave we had? In winter I find they generally flock together for safety. In summer they split up as they have their nests to attend to and constant feeding duties. Pigeon shot yesterday was absolutely full of rose hips. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They are juveniles/young birds that have lots of learning and energy to burn off, just watch any young animal play fighting or giving fright to a none excitant treat, young pigeons do the same thing but in flight, I have also sat and watched young pigeons at this time of year landing on a field for a minute or so then a few birds brake flight for no reason twisting and turning as though they are being pursued by a predator and the rest of the pigeons react to this, including the older birds, and up they get and disappear into the distance or swing round and land back on the field or surrounding trees, once they start getting a bit of white on their necks they will calm down.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, WalkedUp said:

I drove past a decent flock on drilling’s yesterday on my way back from a shoot, looked like all squabs. Maybe lots of late broods with that little heatwave we had? In winter I find they generally flock together for safety. In summer they split up as they have their nests to attend to and constant feeding duties. Pigeon shot yesterday was absolutely full of rose hips. 

Rose hips or Haws?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi yes pigeons do flock up this time of the year. Over the last few years the pigeons in my area have been feeding in large flocks from July and August time. They will fly over fields with the same crops sown at the same time and just drop on a field and feed. In my experience in my area l will shoot most of my pigeons on the same fields each year. This year was different l shot most on fields that usually don’t have many pigeons on them. Maybe the short wheat is attracting more pigeons and this is why they are flocking . They walk , and (fly) down the tramlines and feed on the wheat, the way they feed attracts more pigeons, this could be why they are moving as a flock. I also shot over oats, a crop that they don’t usually feed on. We have more flocks of stock doves and jackdaws over the last few years as well. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi pete1dart l have films of woodpigeon in large flocks in July and August this year. We can’t manage put them on the forum but here’s some photos from 22nd July 2020 This is just a part of the flight as they passed over. The pigeons are still moving in large flocks. I was talking about this when out shooting with my friend yesterday and we think that it’s the last 5years they have been flocking up from July and August time. We thought the woodpigeon yesterday were flying just like feral pigeons in the same field.

30348D6C-F717-421F-83B8-77DDCE13583B.png

6131D3A6-3EC5-46DD-B318-A59E17D5F8E2.png

AACDD899-B3D6-444B-9FE8-637E15A5A5D1.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi. There is one or two there! I went back on Monday before work and there wasn’t a pigeon in the sky. The drill was empty of birds. The flocks that I had seen on the Saturday have moved on to where I do not know.

 

the farmer asked me to have a look on the rape as he had seen around 200 on there the day before. The rape has been direct drilled into this years spring barley stubble. It was badly laid so I expect the 30 that I did see on it were after the left over barley and not the rape. I walked them off and didn’t come back.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...