Sunday, 29 January 2017

Banbury: Urban Collared Doves

A pair of enterprising Collared Doves have taken to nesting on top of traffic lights in the centre of Banbury, somewhat appropriately, opposite the Three Pigeons Inn!  Presumably, incubation and chick-rearing benefits from the warmth of the light bulbs below.
I noticed them nesting in the same place last year but never got around to photographing them, so when I spotted them using the same traffic light last week I decided to make the effort this year.  It is also pretty amazing that they can successfully raise young in the middle of winter. 
I managed a short visit this morning before the rain set in today, and captured some nice images and video clips of an adult brooding the chick, then the chick alone in the nest. These birds are extremely tolerant of people using the pedestrian crossing below them.
I've also seen this behaviour in Adderbury, and checking on-line, there are quite a few other records of this happening across the country.
On the drive home afterwards, I also encountered a nice mixed flock of Lapwings and Golden Plover feeding on sheep pasture (not a common sight around here), also very good numbers of Redwings and Fieldfares.  A Red Kite drifted overhead and Tree Sparrows chattered in the hedgerow trees.
Collared Dove chick in the nest - already quite a good size and not too far off fledging

Adult feeding the chick
the nest is right next to this Inn

Lapwings, Golden Plovers and Common Gulls near Upper Wardington
more of the lapwings - the flock numbered over 200 birds
Lapwings, Golden Plovers and Sheep

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