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Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Rare DOVE refuses to play ball

480 Birders forming an orderly queue in Chipping Norton today -

Some 600 or so twitchers turned up today in Chipping Norton in the hope of connecting with the first-winter ORIENTAL TURTLE DOVE that has spent the entire winter in the village. It was not to be however as without warning or expectation, it disappeared swiftly after access was allowed to its favoured garden.

Just as Steven and Sharon had packed the children off to school, the Oriental Turtle Dove arrived on cue at the garden birdtable at 0830 hours. It started to feed on the seed and was showing well from the dining room window. A queue of some 50 or so would-be observers had already accumulated and the first 15 were kindly allowed in by Steve and quickly ushered in by Ewan. As it was only 5 degrees C outside and over 25 degrees C inside, optics quickly steamed up and hampered viewing. The dove flew from the table and landed in one of the garden Apple trees and sat there for a few minutes before darting off over the fence and into a neighbouring garden. Those 15 obtained brief and frustrating views and as they emerged from the house, the bird then darted across The Leys with two Collared Doves and disappeared behind the houses at 0845.

Everyone remained expectant that it would swiftly return but it just did not happen and despite the extreme generosity of many residents in the neighbourhood, it failed to reappear for the rest of the day.

The only differences from yesterday were the rise in observer numbers and the drastic change in temperature - and of course the change from dry, bright and clear weather to wet, dull, cold weather....