Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Oriental Turtle dove, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire

I had no intention of going for the oriental turtle dove. Didn't fancy queueing in a houseing estate and then having to go into somebodies home to maybe or maybe not catch a glimpse of this siberian dove. News yesterday that it had been seen again and the homeowner Steve was open for viewing I finally thought it was time to pay it a visit. We arrived at The Leys at 7.05am and a couple of minutes later the door opened and we were invited in with just 1 other birder by the the very hospitable Steve. At 7.10 I spotted the dove in the next door garden and it was soon on the bird table giving stonking views.We stayed until about 9.30am with the dove showing on and off during this time. Only 5 other birders arrived while we were there and when we departed the dove was still showing but nobody left to watch it. A nice cup of tea generously given by Steve made this a very pleasant and successful twitch. Our £5 donations were duly given with the total now over £3000, going to birdlife Malta.
It was overcast this morning so pics not as sharp as they could have been. In between the times the dove was not showing we had bramblings, bullfinches, reed buntings, goldfinches,greenfinches and jackdaws to entertain us. Great Stuff !
 Looks like the bird has almost completed a full moult . A rather stocky dove, it looked bigger than the nearby collared doves but was much smaller than the local wood pigeons. The rather dark/dull breast, belly and undertail of orientalis is one of the features that seperate it from meena A very smart looking bird and I was glad I made the belated effort to see it.

Tail feather still growing

The grey tail tips of orientalis can be seen in this blurry flight shot

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