Wednesday, 5 September 2012
Collared Doves arrived on our shores in the 1950's, it is thought as a continuation of its spread westwards across Europe from the Balkans and began the colonisation of this country. The first recorded breeding occurred in 1955 when a pair raised two young in Norfolk. The next few years saw this increase rapidly, they bred in Moray, Lincolnshire and Kent in 1957, Northumberland and Hertfordshire in 1958 and spread more widely in subsequent years, first breeding in Ireland in 1959 and Wales in 1960. Within little more than a decade this bird had increased in numbers to the extent that it was classed as a 'pest' species (a pest to who, you may ask?). It is now found throughout Britain and Ireland with over 210,000 occupied territories and now so common it is a regular bird on the RSPB's garden birdwatch top 10 species.
A remarkable 'success' story of a bird that no-one gives a second look to, but is quite beautiful in its own way, particularly the striking red eye.