Wednesday, 19 December 2012
TURTLE DOVE UK population little more than 600 birds
The EUROPEAN TURTLE DOVE needs all of your help and is in stark decline across most of its European distribution. This summer, the UK population may have been as low as just 600 birds, hammering home just how rare they have become. When I was a teenager and learning the ropes, Richard Richardson and I would watch several thousand Turtle Doves a day (in May) flying west in large flocks across the East Bank at Cley (North Norfolk) - sadly, just a fading memory now. Looking at my notebook for 2012, I saw a pitiful 12 Turtle Doves in just 5 counties - my worst annual total ever.