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Posted (edited)

Last time I was in Slovenia I saw and heard a lot of turtle doves. 

With regard to stock doves, blue rocks.  If you can't tell the difference betwen them and a woodpigeon then you shouldn't be shooting.  The small 'stock dove' normally fly in pairs and are much smaller and less wary and 'normally' come in flying a circle maybe a couple of times before landing. Very easily identified if you take the trouble.  The last turtle dove I saw in the UK was many years ago out in Norfolk and again very easy to identify.

The immature woody has a very different way of flying.  Of course they are all victims of the grey and spray shooter.

Edited by Walker570

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Apart from the reasons already given, I think the exponential increase, in recent years, of avian predators has had an effect........or is that just coincidence? As I'm sure the protectionists would claim!

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Posted (edited)
On 06/08/2019 at 17:41, Whitetail said:

I don't know if any of you guys were shooting on swathed rape/ stubble back in the 1980s -90s but back then turtle doves at times would have outnumbered wood pigeon, things have certainly changed since then . I've seen maybe 5-6 this year . Stock doves were on the quarry list up until the early 1980s I used to get 5p each , I think pigeons were around 30p at the time 

so true, that is what I see in my minds eye when the decline of turtle doves is mentioned, them coming into rape stubble fast and low like little dark brown collared doves.

The last study I believe showed a much reduced breeding success rate. They still reared some young to fledging but just not as many as they had in previous studies quite a few years before. I think overall the decline in weed rich areas was blamed, whether fallows or margins, I am sure Furmitory was mentioned as beinga favoured food plant.

Edited by scolopax

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Strangely enough, I can't remember having seen a turtle dove for years. Then on Thursday I had half a dozen fly past my pigeon hide on some rape stubble.

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Some interesting posts! Especially folk who have never seen a turtle dove or haven't see one for years! See Suffolk and Norfolk there last strong hold, I  am fortunate enough to have had them return and feed up in my garden before nesting locally for most of past 20yrs. Trusts, orgs and local recorders did't want to know back then or didn't believe us. It's interesting how the RSPB are about increasing numbers round my way and on the farms in the project. On one they keen on studying, ringing, tagging and getting the data. Another which has more potential to increase numbers and is close to established and off farm new breeding sites when they did farm survey with less experienced staff said there were so many it hardly worth mentioning! Strange! Still a lot of work to do and on practical joined up thinking and sharing info me thinks! Or if they would be so interested at all if they weren't getting additional funding for it!? At times it seems on the back of others hard work local Knowledge and success! I still can't imagine in anything they publish they will credit it to shoots, passionate local conservationist or the need for continuous pest control to get numbers up! It's interesting that on another farm they advise and monitor that isn't a shoot they have advised them to grow there wild bird strips in a layout  and sizes as if it where shoot covers! But they are in the wrong places for either! Not providing enough winter cover or feed and/or to near  public footpaths and disturbance.  Some times think it like they trying to reinvent the wheel! 

Still not seeing many woodies about on stubble's to set up for. See 20s n 30s on few fields that don;t come back. 37 been my best bag and that was mainly birds coming to a pond. Surprised the number of young pheasant n partridge out on stubble's doing well. 2 green shank still about on resivour. Found yet more badger setts, Farmer got pic of large grass snake buzzard dropped near him. Another counted 15 English in a covey.      NB

 

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We still see the odd Turtle Dove now and again but it is becoming a rarity and a talking point when one is sighted .

I wonder if the Collard Dove will be heading in the same direction , at the moment they are still common place but not in the numbers they exploded in the late 60s and 70s , around the main grain silos in the harbour there were into the 100s , now you might see the odd pair and that would be the same at most of there old strong holds .

33 minutes ago, NatureBoy said:

Some interesting posts! Especially folk who have never seen a turtle dove or haven't see one for years! See Suffolk and Norfolk there last strong hold, I  am fortunate enough to have had them return and feed up in my garden before nesting locally for most of past 20yrs. Trusts, orgs and local recorders did't want to know back then or didn't believe us. It's interesting how the RSPB are about increasing numbers round my way and on the farms in the project. On one they keen on studying, ringing, tagging and getting the data. Another which has more potential to increase numbers and is close to established and off farm new breeding sites when they did farm survey with less experienced staff said there were so many it hardly worth mentioning! Strange! Still a lot of work to do and on practical joined up thinking and sharing info me thinks! Or if they would be so interested at all if they weren't getting additional funding for it!? At times it seems on the back of others hard work local Knowledge and success! I still can't imagine in anything they publish they will credit it to shoots, passionate local conservationist or the need for continuous pest control to get numbers up! It's interesting that on another farm they advise and monitor that isn't a shoot they have advised them to grow there wild bird strips in a layout  and sizes as if it where shoot covers! But they are in the wrong places for either! Not providing enough winter cover or feed and/or to near  public footpaths and disturbance.  Some times think it like they trying to reinvent the wheel! 

Still not seeing many woodies about on stubble's to set up for. See 20s n 30s on few fields that don;t come back. 37 been my best bag and that was mainly birds coming to a pond. Surprised the number of young pheasant n partridge out on stubble's doing well. 2 green shank still about on resivour. Found yet more badger setts, Farmer got pic of large grass snake buzzard dropped near him. Another counted 15 English in a covey.      NB

 

 

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9 hours ago, NatureBoy said:

Some interesting posts! Especially folk who have never seen a turtle dove or haven't see one for years! See Suffolk and Norfolk there last strong hold, I  am fortunate enough to have had them return and feed up in my garden before nesting locally for most of past 20yrs. Trusts, orgs and local recorders did't want to know back then or didn't believe us. It's interesting how the RSPB are about increasing numbers round my way and on the farms in the project. On one they keen on studying, ringing, tagging and getting the data. Another which has more potential to increase numbers and is close to established and off farm new breeding sites when they did farm survey with less experienced staff said there were so many it hardly worth mentioning! Strange! Still a lot of work to do and on practical joined up thinking and sharing info me thinks! Or if they would be so interested at all if they weren't getting additional funding for it!? At times it seems on the back of others hard work local Knowledge and success! I still can't imagine in anything they publish they will credit it to shoots, passionate local conservationist or the need for continuous pest control to get numbers up! It's interesting that on another farm they advise and monitor that isn't a shoot they have advised them to grow there wild bird strips in a layout  and sizes as if it where shoot covers! But they are in the wrong places for either! Not providing enough winter cover or feed and/or to near  public footpaths and disturbance.  Some times think it like they trying to reinvent the wheel! 

Still not seeing many woodies about on stubble's to set up for. See 20s n 30s on few fields that don;t come back. 37 been my best bag and that was mainly birds coming to a pond. Surprised the number of young pheasant n partridge out on stubble's doing well. 2 green shank still about on resivour. Found yet more badger setts, Farmer got pic of large grass snake buzzard dropped near him. Another counted 15 English in a covey.      NB

 

Enjoy your post's NB

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On 12/08/2019 at 06:40, islandgun said:

Enjoy your post's NB

Thanks IG. Enjoy your posts to. Sounds like you living the dream your way!! 😉  Suffolk is getting crowded!  NB

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On 11/08/2019 at 22:04, marsh man said:

We still see the odd Turtle Dove now and again but it is becoming a rarity and a talking point when one is sighted .

I wonder if the Collard Dove will be heading in the same direction , at the moment they are still common place but not in the numbers they exploded in the late 60s and 70s , around the main grain silos in the harbour there were into the 100s , now you might see the odd pair and that would be the same at most of there old strong holds .

 

RSPB tagged 10 in Norfolk. 5 were predated by sparrow hawks before they left. obviously not published! They seem obsessed with tagging at the mo! (more funding??) Look what happened to the hen harriers ITV were filming them tagging on moors recently. Disturbance caused chicks to jump nest early that they chased across moor. Parents kept off nest for 2 hrs. Next day no chicks and no parents!  That been kept quiet! RSPB on one of the farms to day looking for young TDs etc. Pensthorpe were on about breeding/releasing turtle doves like they doing with corncrake etc but some thought they not have the migration instinct. Other country's do. Malta breed and releases loads with success!  Supplementary feeding really  help them a lot to feed up and get in to breeding condition  when they arrive here. Getting  peps to feed and the right feed has made a big difference locally. Think they struggle on migration and where they over winter more. Collard doves bully them a lot. Plenty of them about this way. And have been asked to knock there numbers back in past where they a problem on farms.. Interesting that on one farm that got out of pigs the numbers locally dropped dramatically within a year. Think predation played a big part as they spread out looking for food else where. Think them and feral s still a big problem around Ipswich docks and grain terminal. They have become a garden bird in a lot of places so will do ok. Often see them with canker and it,s thought they spread it and trico. They do nest in some daft exposed places though! Stock doves really doing well at mo!  NB

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4 hours ago, NatureBoy said:

RSPB tagged 10 in Norfolk. 5 were predated by sparrow hawks before they left. obviously not published! They seem obsessed with tagging at the mo! (more funding??) Look what happened to the hen harriers ITV were filming them tagging on moors recently. Disturbance caused chicks to jump nest early that they chased across moor. Parents kept off nest for 2 hrs. Next day no chicks and no parents!  That been kept quiet! RSPB on one of the farms to day looking for young TDs etc. Pensthorpe were on about breeding/releasing turtle doves like they doing with corncrake etc but some thought they not have the migration instinct. Other country's do. Malta breed and releases loads with success!  Supplementary feeding really  help them a lot to feed up and get in to breeding condition  when they arrive here. Getting  peps to feed and the right feed has made a big difference locally. Think they struggle on migration and where they over winter more. Collard doves bully them a lot. Plenty of them about this way. And have been asked to knock there numbers back in past where they a problem on farms.. Interesting that on one farm that got out of pigs the numbers locally dropped dramatically within a year. Think predation played a big part as they spread out looking for food else where. Think them and feral s still a big problem around Ipswich docks and grain terminal. They have become a garden bird in a lot of places so will do ok. Often see them with canker and it,s thought they spread it and trico. They do nest in some daft exposed places though! Stock doves really doing well at mo!  NB

Very interesting reply ....... THANKS MM

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Well i was wrong about pair of turtle doves coming into deeks other week being a one off. Had 3 come in briefly yesterday. Was hard work in the strengthening wind. After looking over all farms and not seeing much i  set up under big oak sitty tree in middle of some dicsed wheat stubble  that had a few birds on and others flighting over in to very tall rape stubble in next field.  Didn't expect much as it been so hard lately  so  put out 12 flocked shells in random pattern and 2 magnets close to tree with breasted birds on. Set to go by 3oc using my 525 sporter for first time since February as charity clay shoot coming up and  various old cartridges i was given by yet another shooter packing up. Downed first bird in after 15 mins  this moved the few other birds in trees and next field. Also droped the next 3 birds that came in battling against the wind to deeks or tree. Next group of 3 birds in were the turtle doves. 2 adults and a juvenile. Didn't stay long enough  to get pic. Things went a bit quiet  after that but odd birds kept coming to keep me interested. Packed up at 7oc and picked up 24 plus a magpie that tried to sneaked in to the tree. Better than i expected and i shot well with the 525.  All birds breasted given way and some BBQd. Not many young birds. only had 2.

Buzzards everywhere i looked. large flocks of finches on the stubble's. Lot more green finches about. Sandpipers and green shank have moved on. It strange that there no  signs of mink or otters round the new lake. I know they about and the new clay banks ideal for spotting tracks.   NB

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