Friday, 18 February 2011

Chipping Norton - Oriental Magic

Apologies for the lack of things happening here. Whilst I've been very busy with talks etc. there simply haven't been any birds or totally inclement weather has stopped any worthwhile birding. Last weekend was the only 'birdless' weekend I can remember for a long, long time......

I'd booked today off a while ago with thoughts of a Parkgate highish tide and raptor action? I reversed the car out of the drive and headed towards the A5..... At least I tried to? Something was wrong with the steering and no matter how much I tried, 'JET' seemed hell bent on a course due South.....

OMG, I suddenly realised where it was heading for - the Satnav was screaming CHIPPING NORTON, CHIPPING NORTON!! OK, have your own way then I thought, if I have to.....

Only problem was, no garden access (according to the news services) so it was going to be down to a bit of luck and persistence?

I arrived just before 10:00 and realised No.41 HAD been open!! Lee Evans had brokered access to No 33 however - so I took my chances here? Being somewhat vertically challenged, I had to admire the initiative shown by one or two birders - bringing their own mini-stepladders!!






I looked on with envy at birder perched on boxes whilst all I could do was keep scanning the skies and hedge for that moment of 'luck'? An hour later, I took possession of a 'box' in 'prime location (the big green one on the left!)- crikey, I had now grown 12" and was now looking over the hedge!!

Plenty of Doves of the Collared variety, the odd Brambling and Pigeon but nothing tasty from the Orient! It was nearly midday and it was resigning myself to Oriental dips for lunch, when someone's mobile rang... Normally a source of irritation but.... this was good news indeed - the bird was showing further down The Leys! All of a sudden, the box became a very useful set of sprinters blocks as I joined the charge, camera over my shoulder and there in the hedge behind No 54, nearly 100m distant, one 'phew.... thank goodness' Oriental Turtle Dove of the Rufous veriety.........

The gap.....






Now don't start expecting feather detail, the bird was quite distant, against the usual milky white sky of late but it was THERE!






A couple more angles......








The post charge tightly packed gallery....






Job done then, as for Parkgate - I'll be there on Sunday with the SOS trip.....

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