Didn't want to get too close and disturb them, but nesting in January?
This morning sat for the obligatory hour while munching toast watching the birds in the garden for the RSPB Garden Birdwatch. 10 Species recorded, but as the garden here is only 25x25 feet, not bad. Usual Herberts, on show, nice Wren though sat on my frog statue. However I was sat sitting, looking out of the conservatory, when one of the resident Collard Doves landed on the bird table carrying a sizeable twig. It made me sit up. Nest building already? Those of you up north will be non-believers.
Anyway watched this and in it popped into the conifer hedge. And lo and behold, another was in the hedge doing the nest building. For 15 minutes I was engrossed with the antics of this pair, managed a couple of photos from inside the conservatory so as not to spook them. Great I'm going to have Collard Dove squabs soon. It's interesting to ponder on the fact that if I'd had these nesting in the garden 50 years ago, I'd have had 2 million twitchers descend to view them. Just shows how species can advance their range if the environment is right.
After this had a walk along Sand Bay, highlight of which was singing Skylark.
In the afternoon, did a 6 mile bike ride around the lanes (thought I'd add this sartorial photo to the blog ident above). It's good birding around here but one needs to travel as no open water, so a bike is perfect. I'm also on the look out for Tree sparrows, as although scarce in Somerset, if they're here, this is as good a place as any with all the supplementary feeding. The area is predominantly dairy farms, with old hedgerows, large trees, overgrown field corners and remnant orchards. Great for farmland species, including Spotted Flycatcher in the summer. Today's highlights were a grey squirrel (unusual around here), Song Thrush, Jay, Grey Wagtail, 50+ Fieldfare, plus usual Rook, Carrion Crow, and Gt Tit, Blue Tit, plus 7 moorhen on the Blagdon. Which is also where I spied 27 Collard Doves on one phone wire. It was just a great day to be out. Oh and the Lesser Celendine's are in flower in the garden.
Finally, had a check on the Collard Doves in the evening, and one is still there. Surely they haven't laid already? They were only building the nest this morning. I'll keep you posted