Friday, June 10, 2011

Rock Dove conundrum. 9.6.2011.

A half reasonable day which got even better towards evening. Some showers were a bit heavy but, thankfully, of short duration.

Things are somewhat quiet as birds are occupied with feeding or protecting young. The Flats at Bridgend looked somewhat desolate with only the odd Oystercatcher and Shelduck in evidence and occasional gulls overhead. The vast majority of high Arctic waders will now have gone through except for odd stragglers and non breeders.

I'm intrigued by Rock Dove behaviour at the moment. There's been an obvious lull within which odd birds or pairs could be seen zipping about to and from nesting sites in old buildings or coastal caves. Within the last few days I've had several small flocks of birds feeding at locations where they might more readily be seen in winter, e.g a foddering out site at Tormisdale Croft. Do they use communal feeding sites when raising young or are these accumulations of adults and young birds already? Seems a bit early! Rock Dove is a species that , sadly, seems to be somewhat neglected as far as attention goes, probably because of its close resemblance to feral pigeons elsewhere in and around our mainland towns that nobody gets enthusiastic about except, perhaps, the local Peregrines ! Reports of these latter birds being in residence on high rise buildings, cathedrals or other suitable buildings in several of the UK's towns and cities appears to grow by the year. Whilst away I saw birds in central Sheffield and watched the birds on Norwich Cathedral on a live video stream. How things change! By contrast, the situation here ( proper Peregrine country after all!! ) appears to have deteriorated with fewer occupied eyries than , say, ten years ago despite a plentiful food supply!

No comments: