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Spotted in Ardleigh, Essex

Birder Adrian Kettle tweeted seeing and photographing the above closed ringed Turtle Dove on 18/7/2020 at Ardleigh Reservoir in Essex. Subsequent research shows that this bird was captive bred at the Turtle Dove Trust’s breeding centre in North Suffolk.

Our congratulations to Adrian as this Turtle Dove has the distinction of being the first of our released birds to be independently sighted. 

Going back two months from Adrian’s sighting, this male and his mate were released from the Turtle Dove’s premises and were regularly seen and heard close to the Trust’s aviaries for several weeks.

To our dismay they disappeared following some close-by disturbance by a Eurasian Sparrowhawk. However, amazingly, the story didn’t end there!

On 27/7/2020 a juvenile Turtle Dove, not ringed, was seen in our open release aviary and occasionally appeared on camera up until 09/09/2020.

We find it extremely hard to believe that a wild bird would venture there unless it had already done so several times before with its parents.

It is our profound belief that this juvenile Turtle Dove was bred locally by the released pair, one of which turned up in Ardleigh and was seen and photographed by Adrian.

Watch this space ………. and look out for Turtle Doves with a seamless colour coded leg ring on each leg.