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Bird lovers rejoice as rare doves survive dangerous journey to Norfolk summer home

PUBLISHED: 16:22 17 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:22 17 June 2019

One of the turtle dovers spotted in New Buckenham. Photo: Janet Trewin

One of the turtle dovers spotted in New Buckenham. Photo: Janet Trewin

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A pair of rare turtle doves have succesfully battled poachers, lack of food and the elements to return to their summer home in Norfolk.

Turtle dove perched on a branch. Picture: Les Bunyan / RSPB Images.Turtle dove perched on a branch. Picture: Les Bunyan / RSPB Images.

Bird lovers in New Buckenham celebreated the birds' return after they were spotted at their regular home on Hunt's Farm, Cuffer Lane, having completed a treacherous commute from West Africa.

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Janey Trewin, who lives on the farm, said the birds have been spending summer in the village for decades, but that the journey across Europe has been growing increasingly dangerous.

She said: "None of us could believe it when we saw the first bird. We leapt about hugging each other. You may think that's over the top but maybe you don't understand how critical the decline of incoming birds has become."

As well as a decline in seed and grain, which makes up the doves' diet, around two to four million of the declining birds are shot and trapped for their meat during migration.

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