With a second for Britain situated 185 miles from home, I decided on Monday night that I had suffered enough and decided to and see this Eastern delight the next morning.
The Oriental Turtle Dove has been putting on quite a display showing well in a small back garden in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. The bird seemed to be quite settled and appeared to have a set pattern showing well early morning in the back garden and later on moving to the back of some Ash trees not too far away.
Getting up and out at 5am is never an easy task and with the added bonus of driving 3 hours to a site where a bird is never guarenteed, is always a risk. Chris bridge came along with me and of course, had it already 'ticked' - provides the enthusiasm if nothing else! We approached the street and it had looked like our worst nightmares had come true... thick fog giving very little visibility down to a few metres.
Oh dear... so anyway we gave it half an hour scoping into grey space in the hope we'd do the impossible. Chris tried his best to turn the local collard doves into the bird, but with no success...
We soon gave up and walked towards the house where the bird was best viewed from in the morning, no sooner than a few minutes past, Steve, the house owner came out and provided the excellent news that it was feeding down on the lawn in his back garden.
Taken by Roger Wyatt, here's a fantastic image to UK400ClubRareBirdAlert for an image of the Oriental Turtle Dove.
Steve was extremely kind and let us into his house to see the star bird. The bird seemed a little cautious at first but later showed very well to the 30+ birders all desperate to see it. The Oriental turtle dove has a much darker, more rufous-brown colour to its centres and a darker brown-pinkish breast than its more familiar cousin. It also appeared clearly bigger and heavier built.
It was a fantastic bird to see and one well worth getting up and setting off at 5am for, but if it hadn't have been for Steve kindly letting us in to his home, we would never have seen it. Many Thanks!
This shows a link to the daily telegraph and highlights the story behind the bird: