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pigeons on rape


mossy835
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Hi mossy pigeons have been on the rape in small numbers for a couple of weeks, north west, today l saw about two hundred on one field. I drove down the field and stood by the hedge on the edge of the field under a flight line from the field. I shot twenty pigeons , two were very young birds, all had a full crop . There was no wind and pigeons still flew to the field as I was shooting, my gun has a low report but with no wind they still landed in the field. This is early for me to shoot pigeons over rape, they were urban woodpigeon and after they have been in large flocks from July they were flying in twos to ten as they flew in. This was from about 3.30pm when I started shooting so l don’t know how many pigeons were feeding on the field earlier. Early December is when the flocks arrive. Maybe they will be early this year.

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Pigeons would have different types of food in their crops this time of the year. The pigeons I have shot in the last two weeks their crops were full with stubble grain or rape. This was in the crop of two pigeons shot about a mile from each other. I don’t know why pigeons are feeding on rape when their are plenty of stubble about. I was shooting rooks this morning and I saw pigeons resting in trees . When I finished shooting l followed them to a small stubble field. The pigeons that rest in the trees in that area would be the pigeons that feed on the nearest rape fields. 

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2 hours ago, TIDES EDGE said:

None in Kent either I predict that any one with rape this year is going to have a lot of pigeons.

 

There's too much rape round the midlands this year with the prices going up and up. 

It's going to be very difficult to get on them. 

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Hi Mossy835 l shot pigeons coming of a rape field on Wednesday. Again there crops were full with rape, no grain or acorns in any of the crops. Today I shot pigeons coming from a stubble field there crops were full with wheat and nothing else. This time of the year pigeons crops would be a mix of food. The pigeons are healthy and in small flocks again, they have been in large flocks since July. Yes it is early for pigeons coming in to rape hope this helps with your questions, I’m a long way from your rape fields , but it’s good to know what is happening around the country.

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This morning I saw a lot of pigeons heading over the village. An hour later I saw several hundred feeding on rape. This is the first time they have been on those fields this winter. They are not settled enough to attempt to shoot them.

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went out today on the rape not much wind,out of 5 fields they are picking on one,must of been 400 lift off when i got there they would not decoy.fire a shot and off they went to the trees stayed for a while and off to the woods,i could not keep up with them,next time i will take some one out,with me,to keep them on the move more,only ended up with 21,

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I’ve noticed more pigeons going to the stubble fields but the pigeons on the rape fields are staying on them and not going to the stubble fields. It’s hard work decoying on rape l will shoot them flying to or from the rape field or from were they are resting during the day. If I see a small number of pigeons feeding in the same patch of rape every day  I will decoy them as these pigeons will be feeding all day . These pigeons will be local and not with the large flocks. A lot of pigeons will be feeding at different times over the day. I’ve been shooting (corvids) over drilled wheat and not many pigeons have been on the drilling this year ,they must have a taste for rape this year . 
 

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Pigeon numbers have increased on rape and on stubble fields. Pigeons on rape are still in small flocks pigeons on stubble are in large numbers. I have shot pigeons on both flight lines and the pigeons are healthy, l weighed some today that had been feeding on rape 630grams to 715grams. One had a (lump) on the side of its head. It’s the second bird in a week . I also shot two in September. I have shot feral pigeons before like this . It’s going off the topic but I think it may be of interest.

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Suspicion of some type of abcess on the neck, the feet look like 'bumble foot' infection.

Glad you getting out, keep up the posting.

56 minutes ago, JDog said:

I had a thirty mile tour round today and saw pigeons on many different rape fields.

How did you get on JD, did you get a shot?

atb

7diaw

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Just noted a previous comment about the lack of acorns around. I’ve noticed this while out both clay shooting and on the pigeon with lots of oak trees having no acorns whatsoever. A large beech in my driveway which usually drops beech mast onto a side road which is then ‘prepared to eat’ by passing cars is also devoid of any ‘fruit’. 
ive had calls over the last couple of weeks from farmers (and farm manager) stating that “ pigeon are piling into the Osr planted around the farm buildings and when are you coming’ so there tomorrow as I’ve had a few weeks off due to eye op. Also a couple of the farmers who’s land I shoot on have taken to putting sheep onto the rape fields as the only other option is a retardant (due to the actual appearance of yellow flowers near two weeks ago) plus although they have had to buy miles of electric fencing and pay for transporting the animals, the cost is part offset by receiving pavement from the farmers who own the animals. Now it’s a lot of years since I’ve seen grazed Osr and that was miles away where fences and bramble hedges were used mostly to keep the animals in. At the time I never thought to ask what the meat tasted like but I suppose the livery taste will have long gone before lambing.

Also there is a constant supply of feral pigeons around the cattle sheds so I’ll be protecting the grain and cattle feed stocks around the farm while nodding off waiting for woodies! Crops I opened two weeks plus ago only contained red berries with a tiny amount of, I think, Osr leaf but I have been told that some areas of Osr have been eaten off along tree lines,  but mostly the plants up here in the North are over knee high and very few badly drilled or flooded out areas for the birds to easily access.

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1 hour ago, 7daysinaweek said:

Suspicion of some type of abcess on the neck, the feet look like 'bumble foot' infection.

Glad you getting out, keep up the posting.

How did you get on JD, did you get a shot?

atb

7diaw

No shots, just looking for later in the week.

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This year  the pigeons have been dropping far out in the rape fields. I’ve not seen any drop down from the trees on the edge of the fields. The first pigeons feeding on rape would land in the willow trees or ash trees and just drop down to feed. I would set a hide in the rape in front of the trees that they were using and shoot them out of the tree or coming in to the tree. This year not many are landing in the trees, just small flocks landing out in the field. This morning I was shooting over wheat drillings the pigeons were flying in large flocks to the field, and I could see smaller flocks flying to rape fields . Maybe they are still social distancing. I don’t think they are going to far away yet. Unusual for pigeons to leave grain and go for rape.

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