Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Oriental Not So Slaty-backed Turtle Gull Dove

Basically we saw the Oriental Turtle Dove in Chipping Norton but dipped the Slaty-backed Gull at Rainham RSPB. That pretty much sums up last Friday when Gary and i went on our first long distance twitch of the year, and also our last for a while with Gary and Claire's baby due in the next couple of weeks. In Chipping Norton the Turtle Dove although elusive at times eventually gave good views, i did need a box though! I big thanks must go to the residents of the area that have let many birders trample their gardens. Also noted was a surprisingly large number of Bullfinch, 2 Brambling, a Blackcap and numerous Tits. Driving from there we passed along the M40, an area I've always been told is great for Red Kite. Sure enough we saw probably 35+ between Oxford and London with one group of 15+ quite a spectacle. At Rainham the RSPB carpark was closed after an accident near the access road the night before, but finding a suitable verge we parked up before heading off towards the tip. 2 hours scanning the large gull flock roosting on the marshes failed to turn up the Slaty-backed Gull. Although one bird looked an idea candidate until it moved, allowing us to then dismiss it due to its small size. A fly though Peregrine was also my first of the year.

Pack in the garden my regular 10 minute feeder watch before work on 22nd, resulted in a unexpected female Siskin on the Niger feeder, a new garden tick in the form of a male Bullfinch perched in the back hedge and rare for the garden a Wren which seemed to take objection to a Dunnock under the feeders.

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