The decline of the Turtle Dove as a summer visitor to Britain has been well documented and it is believed to be at real risk of disappearing as a breeding species here within the decade. This is mirrored in Northamptonshire, where it has been recorded at only eight sites this year compared with thirty-six just ten years ago. Many of the records refer only to migrants and falling squarely into this category is this one at Stortons Gravel Pits yesterday morning.
Doug McFarlane managed to capture a few images before it was flushed by a dog-walker and not subsequently relocated. This individual is a smart adult. Let’s hope they don’t ‘turn turtle’ and disappear as a breeding bird altogether. For the latest news see www.operationturtledove.org