Pi­geon pop­u­la­tions

Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - SPORTING ANSWERS -

We had such an ex­treme sum­mer, I’m won­der­ing how you think this might im­pact pi­geon pop­u­la­tions head­ing into win­ter.

Watch­ing the birds through the ex­treme sum­mer was in­ter­est­ing. I def­i­nitely think they strug­gled, es­pe­cially to bring two off the nest. This would have been purely down to a lack of mois­ture. In a nor­mal year, come Septem­ber, you would be able to see how suc­cess­ful the sum­mer breed­ing had been with squabs be­gin­ning to show up. This year, as you say, the weather was un­usual. How­ever, in many coun­ties the young-to-old ra­tio was low, so this will have had an im­pact, too. I have a feel­ing the birds would have held on and bred slightly later, so we will hope­fully see more young on the wing later into Oc­to­ber. TP I would like to up­grade from my old-school grey MK1 knocker box to the MK3. Is it worth it?

Fer­ret-find­ers are like cars in many ways. Both the MK1 and MK3 do ba­si­cally the same job, just with dif­fer­ing amounts of ease. Think of the MK1 as be­ing like a man­ual car, whereas the MK3 is an au­to­matic with a bet­ter en­gine.

The man­ual con­trol of the depth wheel on the MK1 has been re­placed with an au­to­matic ver­sion on the MK3. It searches, then lo­cates.

The MK3 has a greater depth and dis­tance. The draw­back with both is that the col­lars are not re­pairable and the MK3 has a funny noise that many peo­ple don’t like. Once you have got past the fact that you are not in con­trol of the depths like a MK1, they are much the same. How­ever, the MK3 is great near metal, un­like its pre­de­ces­sor.

It is a pure in­di­vid­ual choice, but it is great to see so many be­ing used on fer­rets. SW

Pi­geons strug­gled in the scorch­ing sum­mer heat and may have bred slightly later

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