As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Finders-in-the-field: Mourning Dove, Lerwick, Shetland Dec 2015

Boxing Day, it was fine, cloudy and not very bright, but that didn’t matter since I wasn’t planning on going too far today. In fact another relaxed dinner with the family followed by a get together at a small local hall with friends in the evening was all we intended to do after the excitement of opening presents and eating far too much the previous day. Or so I thought.

It was late morning by the time I decided I’d better get dressed and go and get my partner’s parents, who were joining us for dinner again that day. I was getting dressed in the bedroom, which overlooks the back garden, with its various trees, Pampas Grass, shrubs and a variety of bird feeders that, together, attract a reasonable variety of birds, though seldom anything terribly unusual. At that moment there were a good number of starlings on the ground, on the feeders and hanging round in the perimeter trees, together with a couple of Collared Doves and a Rock Dove. However, my eye was instantly drawn to an altogether different dove to any I’d seen before, it was smaller, darker and less uniform than the Collared Doves I often see. My first thought was that it was the Oriental Turtle Dove from Scalloway – I hadn’t seen that bird but knew of it because of all the excitement it had generated.

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