Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Turtle Dove pair - a new garden addition

Turtle Doves - a new garden tick. June 16th 2012
During the unseasonal storm of last Friday, in this wretched early summer we're experiencing, gale-force winds lashed through the countryside. Bizarrely, a Turtle Dove purred away that day, very close to the back garden edge. Such is the scarcity of Turtle Doves, I hoped that once the storm had died away the Dove would hang around long enough to photograph. But it wasn't to be. The storm died away and the bird was gone. So rare was the event, I thought perhaps the bird had been displaced out of its normal habitat, but that didn't make much sense as the local Collared Doves went about their normal garden business, unruffled by the terrible weather of the day.        
   Three days on, Sian thought she had heard a Turtle Dove purring again. Coincidentally, I'd put some seed out today (bought half-price at Tesco!) something I don't normally do in summer. In no time at all, Finches, House Sparrows and a lovely male Yellowhammer came into feed. Then this evening, the surprise of the year, two Turtle Doves dropped into the garden - perhaps attracted by a small number of Wood Pigeons and Collared Doves already feasting on the seed. Once landed, they immediately pranced the lawn for food. They seemed as tame as Collared Doves and came very close to the house, hard to believe this was the same species I struggle to get anywhere near in Orlestone Forest.
   The weather at the time was cold, wet and surprisingly dark. I managed just one sharp picture, before the birds walked out of sight to the back of the garden, where I'd also added some seed. Will the birds be back tomorrow, are they breeding on our door step? .... only time will tell! Whatever happens, today's appearance of Turtle Doves in our garden feels like a dream with no right to be repeated.

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