Streptopelia decaocto – TURTUR DORCHOG – Breeding resident
|No of tetrads occupied||265 (of 478)|
|Percentage of tetrads||55.4%|
The Collared Dove arrived in Pembrokeshire in 1961 when one was recorded at St Bride’s on 18 April (J.W. Donovan), some six years after the first record for Britain. That same summer a colony of four pairs had established itself at St Davids. They had rapidly spread across the county within four years, with further colonisation up to at least 1976. Although widely distributed (see map) there is a degree of patchiness, with substantial colonies in some places whilst being sparse or absent in intervening areas. At an average density of six to eight pairs per tetrad the total population for Pembrokeshire is probably 1,600-2,100 pairs. Flocks of 70-130 became a feature of winter-time Pembrokeshire from 1967 to the late 1970s, with a gathering of 200 recorded at Porthliski in 1973. Such large flocks ceased to form during the 1980s, though whether this represents a population decrease or a change in habits is not known.
Collared Doves were seen flying out to sea towards Ireland during the major expansion period of the 1970s, mostly in flocks of less than ten, although 26 flew over the South Bishop on 7 May 1976. They still visit the offshore islands as far out as the Smalls, particularly in spring, so although present throughout the year there is a dynamic element at work within the population. Closer study might well show our Collared Dove population to be far from stable.