Rock-Dove – 1949

Columba livia livia

Perhaps extinct as a pure race.  Tracy stated that a few pairs nested on the coastal cliffs (before 1850), and Mathew thought a few nested in Huntsman’s Leap. Whintle includes it in his list for Caldey.  Three adults and one juvenile were received at Cardiff Museum from Tenby, 1898.  Presumably the few pairs of coast-breeding wild doves (some obviously showing by their colours an admixtue of homing pigeon blood) are descended from the original Rock-Doves of this coast. 

Dr C.Walton records a small colony of six pairs with typical pure plumage breeding in rocks ner St Davids Head, 1947, in which year typical “blue rocks” were recorded at Newport Head, Strumble area, St Davids, Marloes, Linney Head, and Stackpole Quay.

R.M.Lockley, G.C.S.Ingram, H.M.Salmon, 1949, The Birds of Pembrokeshire, The West Wales Field Society

More about the Feral Pigeon in Pembrokeshire

Rock Dove – 1894

Columba livia – Resident.

Mr. Tracy, writing fifty years ago, stated that a few pairs then nested in the cliffs on the coast. But we must state that we have never seen a Pembrokeshire specimen of this species, and some eggs sent to us from St. David’s were evidently too large for those of the Rock-dove. However, from what Mr. Mortimer Propert tells us, we believe that there may be a pair or two of genuine Rock-doves nesting in the caves on Ramsey Island. We have ourselves, on various visits to that most romantic and charming island, seen many Pigeons flying along the cliffs, but were never able to get sufficiently near them to be certain what they were.

Mr. E. W. H. Blagg, of Cheadle, Staffordshire, who was staying at Tenby in the summer of 1887, assures us that he saw Rock-doves in the neighbourhood of the Stack Rocks, and also at the “Huntsman’s Leap,” a name given to a deep fissure in the cliffs, where there is a sheer descent of a hundred feet or more to the beach below. “At the latter spot,” he writes, ” I can call to mind seeing a few Doves come out of the deep fissures in the steep cliffs, far away below us, so that we had a good view of their white rumps, and this was my first introduction to Rock-doves; since then, in 1892, I have seen crowds of wild Rock-doves in the Shetlands.” He adds further ” Stock-doves I have known well all my life. Of course there are lots of them near Tenby, and I have come across plenty of them on the coast of Carnarvonshire; they seem to prefer ivy-covered cliffs, not very high as a rule, but I think the Rock-Doves like cliffs that are too wild and steep for ivy to grow on them, with caves and deep fissures to shelter in.”

Mathew M.A. 1894, Birds of Pembrokeshire and its Islands

More about the Rock Dove in Pembrokeshire