Sunday, 20 February 2011

Not quite the Orient

Work and other commitments prevented a mid-week visit to Oxfordshire to see the orientalis Rufous Turtle Dove, leaving little choice but to queue up with the masses on the Saturday morning. Heavy rain did a good job of dampening the spirits of 250 would be dove twitchers, but the bird flew into a tree which could be seen from the road allowing most people to get a satisfactory view. At this point the crowd collectively exhaled, some enterprising brownies set up a cake stall, and all seemed well with the wet and windy world. The bird relocated to some nearby trees where telescope views were reasonable. Photography was almost a non-starter - this picture was the best I could manage - the rufous tones of the upperparts can just about be made out. I stuck around for a few more hours but could not improve on the earlier views. An American Wigeon on the way home was not far from the cemetery where my in-laws are buried so having twitched that, I stopped by to put some flowers on the grave in the hope of improving my standing with them - and their very tolerant daughter.

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