Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Oriental Turtle Dove, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, 22nd February 2011

Just the same situation as the Pied-Billed Grebe, I was on shifts when the news of a mega came in. With this though, (Oriental Turtle Dove)  I had 4 day shifts to get through, before the first chance rose for me to travel.
I'd received an email from Tony Bennett, a good mate from Burnley that he was thinking of going, and would I like to share the fuel costs. Damn right!
We decided to meet at The Tickled Trout and head down from there.
Tony drove and explained that he'd already been down for the dove, but had dipped amongst the massive throng of twitchers that had descended on The Leys, Chipping Norton, early in the week.
We arrived at 0700 am, and there were two other birders who had arrived before we had.
Neither had seen the bird, but it was early and the more eyes viewing, the more chance we had.
At 0715 am, the owner of the house, Stephen Akers, opened the door of his house, in his house coat, and beckoned us all to his house, from across the road from where we had been viewing.
He asked us to remove our shoes, be quiet, as his family was still in bed, and walk through to the kitchen and view out into his garden from the patio doors.
It couldn't be any better. A warm, central heated tiled floor warmed our feet, backsides, as the six/seven of us waited patiently for the dove to arrive.
Blackcap, Bullfinch, Brambling, Great Spotted Woodpecker, all put in an appearance, and at 0830am, the call was up that the dove had landed in next doors tree.
Typically the bird was out of view from where I was sat.
Eventually it landed on the feeding table where I managed some images. It disappeared numerous times, but came back eventually, each time to the feeding table. In the bag!
By dinnertime, Tony and me were on our way back to Lancashire.
An excellent day out, with a superb bird in the bag, and great company.

Special thanks to Stephen for all his efforts in helping everyone see the bird from the comforts of his own kitchen!