Stock Dove – 1994

Columba oenas – COLOMEN WYLLT – Breeding resident

Breeding confirmed25
Breeding probable45
Breeding possible87
No of tetrads occupied157 (of 478)
Percentage of tetrads32.9%

Mathew (1894) mentioned Stock Doves breeding about the coast and at Picton Park, and also noted their absence around his home at Stone Hall. Lockley et al. (1949) considered the species to be thinly distributed throughout the whole of the county but chiefly a coastal breeder.

Saunders (1976) recorded an increase during the previous 15 years and noted the colonisation of Skomer in 1963. Skokholm was colonised from 1967 while Lloyd thought that they were breeding on Ramsey as far back as 1929. Numbers built up during the period when Peregrines were at a low ebb, with 62 pairs at Skokholm and about 50 pairs at Skomer by 1975. They began to decline as Peregrines increased and today there are none on Skokholm and Skomer and only two or three pairs on Ramsey. Stock Doves still breed about the mainland cliffs and in most parts of the interior of the county (see map). At an estimated average density of two to three pairs per tetrad the Pembrokeshire breeding population is between 300 and 500 pairs.

Nest sites include holes in cliffs and quarries, buildings and old trees, and the use of rabbit burrows has been suspected. Stock Doves can be inconspicuous in well-wooded areas but are detectable when they visit roadside verges to grit during the first hour after dawn. Small flocks of 20 to 30 gather at good food sources, particularly brassica seeds, and larger gatherings have been noted; for example, about 90 were at Llanreath on 3 March 1985 and about 200 at Llys-y-fran on 16 March 1986.

Donovan J.W. & Rees G.H, 1994, Birds of Pembrokeshire

SAUNDERS, D.R. 1976. A brief guide to the birds of Pembrokeshire. Five Arches Press.

More about the Stock Dove in Pembrokeshire