Can you believe I've NEVER seen one of these since I became interested in birds? That's to say, I probably have, but I haven't ever formally identified one (and 'ticked' it off in my old field-guide(s)).
I have now.
On leaving the EA building this morning after a very quiet night-shift, 2 pigeons (doves) flew into the courtyard of the EA building and behaved 'strangely'. They appeared very skittish, and had a great deal of trouble discerning the real sky from the reflection of the sky from the blue-tinted office glass of the rear of the EA building.
I naturally assumed they were feral pigeons (descendants of the wild Rock Dove). That assumption flew out of the window when one landed on the ground about 30' from me.
These birds were certainly Stock Doves - not rare by any means, but often VERY timid, and most often seen in stubble fields, with flocks of Woodpigeons and the like. Unfortunately, as I reached in my pocket for my camera-phone, both birds buggered off, (so the photo above is not mine).
One can tell the difference between a Stock Dove and a Feral Pigeon in the following three ways - (they do, superficially look very similar)...
1)Stock Doves ALL have an attractive metallic-green mark on their collar
2)Stock Doves never have a white or pale rump - Feral pigeons invariably do.
3)Stock doves have 2 incomplete dark bars on their wings.
I'm sure I will have seen this species before, but never identified it - I really feel like I've seen a new species to me this morning, after all these years, and at work too! Proves to me that even when you don't think its particularly important, it does pay to heed Shaw Taylor's advice and 'Keep 'em peeled!'...