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.