I found one near my plot. Not just an ordinary feral beast eating my little cabbage shoots, this one was a thoroughbred racing bird. Lovely looking chap that thought my plot was a good place for a stopover. He might have been a little unwell from too long a flight. What to do? Well, I’ve had experience in these matters to a degree, and knew that it was important to let it have water and if possible some nourishment. I little sugar in the water might have helped perhaps, but that was not a choice I had at the plot. Another kind allotmenteer donated a small drinking bowl and we set it all up on the car park area.
I went on the Royal Pigeon Racing Association website to take a look at what best to do and they have a good guide there. I managed to get a shot of the birds legs, but did not try to catch him. I’m assuming pigeon was a male as he did not seem to know the direction to his own home. Take a look here: Royal Pigeon
It was a Welsh Pigeon, from somewhere in the valleys and I found the phone number from the identity search on the Royal Pigeon site. Spoke to a delightful lady in the Valleys who gave me more advice on what to do.
My guest Welsh racing pigeon.
I’d done right to give it water, but from the limited numbers I’d got on the photo she could not identify exactly which one it was. Apparently the owners name is somtimes stamped on the wing, but not in this case ( unless it was underneath where I could not look ). She suggested giving it some dried rice or lentils to feed it, but not too often as it might want to stay. Perhpas one should try that with the in-laws when they come to stay. Give them one meal and then say “That’s it, you’ll have to go home now”.
Going prepared yesterday, with a heady mix of rice and some very middle class muesli, I found that he’d flown. Which in many ways was a relief. I rang my Welsh contact and advised her that he was on the way down the A40.
These racing pigeons are lovely looking birds and well worth saving.