Apr 032021

Turtle Dove

Kent’s Turtle Doves need you!

Not that long ago the purring call of the Turtle Dove was a familiar soundtrack to the spring and summer in the Kent countryside – but times have changed, and numbers of these attractive doves have tumbled. The current estimate of between 200 and 400 pairs means Kent is now the most important county for them. For every hundred pairs 30 years ago, we now have but five – so rare that their numbers are now monitored by the Rare Birds Breeding Panel.

Fortunately, Turtle Doves have friends – Operation Turtle Dove is actively working with farmers and landowners in the most important hot spots for them. The response has been encouraging but we need to get a better understanding of the numbers of Turtle Doves and do this the Kent Ornithological Society is supporting the National Turtle Dove survey – and this is where, potentially, you come in!

If  you are able to visit a patch of Kent countryside (a 1km square) twice between May and July and if you are confident of being able to identify the distinctive purring call of the Turtle Dove (and you like getting up early) – then do take part in the survey.

The 1km squares have been picked at random so that we can get the best estimate of the turtle dove population – you can see the squares if you visit the KOS survey pages – click on the green bar at the bottom of the page to see the map.

Red squares are available and green squares have already been allocated. Click on a green square and you will see a detailed map and your interest will be registered – you will shortly get confirmation and full instructions.

If you need more information then do feel free to email Andre Farrar on andre.farrar57@gmail.com