Thursday, 23 May 2013

Turtle dove pays me a visit!

Turtle dove on my lawn!
Yesterday I talked about the depressing report entitled “The State of Nature” which told the story of massive wildlife declines across Britain. If I had to choose a species that demonstrates this huge drop in numbers better than most others, I would probably pick the Turtle Dove as it has declined by an alarming 93% since 1970. What is more, whereas some farmland bird species, although still declining, show some signs of hope that their numbers may possibly be turned around, the Turtle Dove shows all the signs of heading rapidly towards extinction in the UK.
So, imagine my surprise when peering out of the bedroom window at 6.30am this morning, there on my lawn was a pristine Turtle dove! I am still scattering mixed corn onto the grass,  which backs onto open farmland here in Hampshire, as Yellowhammer in particular are continuing to arrive in good numbers (a dozen + at present) along with Chaffinch and a pair of Collared dove. I also had one of these stunning migrant doves last year in May in exactly the same place, but I only saw it once - I'm hoping that this one may come back having found a good food source. While we still continue to have this bird returning to our shores each spring, there is some hope that we can save it, but “urgency” is the key word here, as once lost, it is unlikely that we could ever get it back again.  I will put out plenty of extra rations onto my lawn this morning!
If you would like to find out more about this delightful bird, who’s purring song is truly the essence of a warm summer’s day, then go to “Operation Turtle Dove” which is a project set up to see if we can save this bird from extinction in the UK.

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