Sunday, 30 September 2012

Turtur Sauce

The fallout continues. Minds re-assemble, balls re-attach and birds depart. We are now back to westerly dominated airflow but a few waifs from the monster fall last week remian. Most notably a lovely Turtle Dove, Streptopelia turtur which has frequented our meadows, sometimes showing very well:

And what a saucy bird our turtur is! Having lived on Scilly for over a decade my experience with this once widespread species has wained. Gone are the days where as a lad my dad and I would be out in local conifer plantations feeling their arresting purr reverberate between the still trunks, creeping around corners to watch them feed on the pathways. Summer ornitholigified.

Anyway, what Im getting at is I'm quite rusty at aging etc so this bird was educational as well as beautiful and entertaining. Judging by it's heavily fringed coverts and primaries (recalling orientalis/meena which flashed through my mind once or twice) and blotchy moult of fresh rufous scalloped feathers interspersed with duller (presumably juv feathers) I'd say this was a 1st winter, but feel free to disagree! Its a ball rocking sprite either way!

What a beautiful bird, and a real icon for bird conservation; being hit by habitat destruction as intensive agriculture and urbanisation takes over as well as poaching on its migratory routes.
This will probably be one of our last vestiges of summer as the seasons are changing and these guys and their parents will soon be dominating the islands:

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