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They are coming back!

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Old Monday 31st August 2009, 20:09   #1
bill moss
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They are coming back!

Hi folks,

longer-serving members will recall that I used to have lots (30-40) C Doves in and around the garden regularly up until '07 and then for some reason (we now suspect disease) the whole lot disappeared from the area and all that I got last year was the odd single bird and then only infrequently.

This has continued into this year until gradually over the last couple of months at first a pair, then 2 pairs appeared and stayed. Now I am happy to report that towards the end of last week I saw 8 (eight) Doves on the wires above and adjacent to the garden, and on another occasion 6 (six) on the ground in the garden.

Couldn't get photos showing all of them but here are a couple of shots (through the window) showing 7 on the wires (plus Woodies) and 3 on the grass. Today there were 6 again on the wires and a max of 5 in the garden.

It's fingers crossed time folks!

Bill
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Old Monday 31st August 2009, 21:07   #2
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Excellent news, Bill. Let's hope their numbers increase steadily.
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Old Monday 31st August 2009, 22:14   #3
Merlin
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Good to hear that Bill, keep us informed if you can.

regards Merlin (ex BS37 birder)
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Old Tuesday 1st September 2009, 00:52   #4
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Good news Bill, I se literally thousands of them where we live, in fact it's difficult not to hit one when you drive anywhere as they are dozy buggers on the roads.
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Old Tuesday 1st September 2009, 13:16   #5
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We have usually 6 here, Bill most days, I haven't seen more together.
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Old Thursday 3rd September 2009, 08:32   #6
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Good news, Bill! I still haven't seen a Collared Dove in my garden for weeks!
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Old Thursday 3rd September 2009, 16:20   #7
rose taylor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill moss View Post
Hi folks,

longer-serving members will recall that I used to have lots (30-40) C Doves in and around the garden regularly up until '07 and then for some reason (we now suspect disease) the whole lot disappeared from the area and all that I got last year was the odd single bird and then only infrequently.

This has continued into this year until gradually over the last couple of months at first a pair, then 2 pairs appeared and stayed. Now I am happy to report that towards the end of last week I saw 8 (eight) Doves on the wires above and adjacent to the garden, and on another occasion 6 (six) on the ground in the garden.

Couldn't get photos showing all of them but here are a couple of shots (through the window) showing 7 on the wires (plus Woodies) and 3 on the grass. Today there were 6 again on the wires and a max of 5 in the garden.

It's fingers crossed time folks!

Bill
aha so that's where mine have all gone!!
Oh Bill you should see my poor garden, you'd think someone had been in with a plough. Those naughty boys have raked up all the ground under the plum tree and me just put some pretty pink cyclamens and a lovely pink penstamon, I wonder if they don't like pink!!
happy(ish) days
love
Rose
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Old Thursday 3rd September 2009, 17:16   #8
sandra vickery
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Hi Bill, I had about 6 in my garden until the sparrow hawk visit this morning now I only have 5, having first thought that she had taken a wood pigeon on closer inspection I now know that it was a c dove. I was told by my sister Rose Taylor that you could answer my questions. Do sparrow hawks stick to the same hunting ground, do they return to the prey if they are spooked and leave it, will the male be far away and do they mate for life and do they hunt at the same time.
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Old Thursday 3rd September 2009, 17:55   #9
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Hi Sandra,

Didn't know that Lady was your Sister, we live and learn.

Sparrowhawks only pair up for breeding, otherwise they are solitary hunters and in fact Females have been known to kill Males; the Females are up to 25% bigger than the Males and can take bigger prey. Collared Dove is at the upper end for a Male, Females can take Woodies (though they have trouble carrying them, see below). The usual prey sizes are about

They will usually stick to the same hunting area so you may well see that Female again but you'll be unlikely to see a Male at this time of year unless that Female is on the edge of her hunting range, but maybe come the breeding season (April till about mid-June). Once breeding is under way the Female will incubate the eggs (usually 4-5) and the Male will hunt and feed her. It can take anything up to about 40 days from incubation, then the female broods closely for another 4-5 days with the Male bringing food; then the Female hunts also and they will both bring food to the young right through until they have left the nest (c30 days) and for another 4 weeks afterwards. Then they all disperse and you are back to single birds hunting a territory.

If you flush a feeding bird off it's prey it may first try to carry the prey away and feed elsewhere; if the prey is large it may not be able to do that and so it will leave it but may come back if the prey is left undisturbed for a while, in fact Females have been trapped returning to Woodies that they couldn't carry away. If it had just made the kill (or an unkilled strike) and hadn't started to pluck and feed it is more likely to simply leave and hunt elsewhere. A lot will depend on the abundance of prey in the area. I've had most of the permutaions at one time or another in my garden, including a Male carrying a Dove from one end to the other and then feeding even while I watched; a Male that I disturbed flying off from and then coming back to a Blackbird; a Female taking a Dove away altogether and another that I disturbed just as she had struck a Dove, flying away and leaving it badly injured (I had to put that one down myself, something that I hate to do but.....) but recently I haven't had the same number of visits, or not according to a lack of strike evidence (scatterings of feathers/plucking sites).

Does that cover it?

Bill
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Old Thursday 3rd September 2009, 17:58   #10
bill moss
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Hi Lady,

Hard luck, I presume that it's your Badgers digging up everything. Afraid I don't have any info on what colours Badgers prefer (chuckle). Think yourself lucky that you have them, the only Badger that I've seen anywhere around here in years was last week, dead on a road.

Bill.
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Old Thursday 3rd September 2009, 19:20   #11
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Evening Bill,
yep, it's those naughty badgers, but I have to say the soil looks good if a bit dry. Perfect planting soil, it would be perfect for sowing seeds if the year was younger!
I do love having them you know, but I wish their manners were better!
Hope your well
nitey nite
Rose
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Old Thursday 3rd September 2009, 20:47   #12
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I had 5/6 Coll Doves visiting regularly at the beginning of the year, then they went down to an occasional 1/2, but now there are 5/6 again. I expect more as the year goes on.

Baz.
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Old Friday 4th September 2009, 12:52   #13
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I remember your high count of Collared Doves followed by their decline Bill. It's good to know their numbers are on the up again.
I have just one pair to boast who visit the garden occasionally. I love their gentle expression & always pleased when they visit.
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