This Turtle Dove was first noted by Ken and Angela Wade in their Gorseinon garden on Jan 1st and after a four-hour wait it eventually reappeared at their feeding station on the 2nd. Quite a remarkable record of a bird that should be spending the winter in Africa! It appeared to be in good health and with the bountiful supply of food should have no problem surviving the harsh weather, so long as it remains wary and avoids the local cats. Ken reported that the bird was present again today and that it came down to feed on at least two occasions.
In addition to the dove we collectively recorded 23 species in Ken & Angela's garden yesterday including Redwing, Fieldfare, Nuthatch, 4 Greenfinches (now very scarce in Gorseinon) and 7 stunning Bullfinches at very close range. Sandra, Neil and myself are most grateful for our near neighbour's hospitality and conversation.
Interestingly our own garden is less than 100m away and we have not seen a Nuthatch, Greenfinch or Bullfinch all winter, however, we are hoping the dove may wander a little before it eventually moves on!
PS. Reading Birds in Wales (Lovegrove et al, 1994) I was interested to discover that this is not the first time Turtle Dove has overwintered in Wales; there was a bird at Pilton on the Gower peninsula from 13th to 20th February 1977.