Twelve days of Christmas…

Firstly a very merry Christmas!

As you can see from Tris and Rob’s recent posts despite the indulgences of the festive period training continues and we are still keeping a close eye on all things Turtle Dove and Dove Step.

To contrast the new Atlas Data, which the BTO kindly let us reproduce on here last month Rob dusted off his copy of the 1968 – 72 Atlas which paints an all together different picture:

1968 - 72 Bird Atlas
The last 2 paragraphs of the BTO 68-72 Atlas entry for Turtle Dove.

Imagine a summer with 500 pairs of Turtle Dove if favourable 10km squares and with 125 000 pairs in the Country! Wow! 

Such is the plight of Turtle Dove nowadays that even the tabloids have had to take note! With the Mirror running an article earlier this month, including the comparative figures for the above:

… But the number of breeding pairs in the UK is thought to have dropped below 14,000, with a fall in numbers of 95% since 1970 and 84% since 1995. 
This article goes on to draw comparisons between the extinction of Passenger Pigeon in the States and the potential for Turtle Doves to follow the same path in the UK. More on that in upcoming posts…

As ever it s not all doom and gloom! We continue to prepare for our walk, last week half of the team attended a Royal Geographical Society lecture in Norwich with guest speaker and long distance walker Brian Mooney entitled ‘On foot to Rome and back.. ‘ It was a short but exciting presentation and we were also afforded time after the talk with Mr Mooney to glean tips for our own efforts. A true gent.

Brian Mooney
Left to right Sir Rob, Brian Mooney and me (Jonny)

In other good news, be sure to add your name to the RSPB campaign asking David Cameron to get a better deal for Wildlife Friendly Farming and why not purchase a Turtle Dove themed t-shirt for a loved one? This is designed by Dove Step supporter and artist Gyr Crakes who is also making a donation from sales to the Dove Step JustGiving page. A true gent and an honour to have him on board!

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