Sunday, 20 February 2011

4.5 Hours - 20.2.11

My photographic efforts of the Dove and Gull. Distance and dullness have slightly effected the quality!

Well ok it was actually nearer 5 hours but it would have been nearer 4 and a half hours had I not sat at home for 30 minutes in between! Just incase your wondering what i'm on about it's actually the time it took me today to add 2 MEGA lifers to my UK list. I woke at 7am and left the house soon after. I arrived in Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire around 9am and parked up and proceded to walk down The Leys. I then bumped into the Rugby lads John, Pete, Dave and JJ and they were heading round the corner to Lord Piece Road where the previous 3 days the bird in question roosted for up to 2 hours. Around 9.30am the bird flew in stuck around for 30 seconds before heading back to where it came from. We didn't have to wait long for it to return and there it was though distantly. My first ever ORIENTAL TURTLE DOVE and it showed nearly constantly for the next hour and a half. I arrived home at 12.20 took off my shoes went to the loo and the MEGA alert went off! I had a cup of tea and left for Rainham Marshes RSPB. 50 minutes later and then a 2 mile fast walk I arrived to see most of the already present birders walking down the bank and back to their cars. Had I missed it by minutes? I met Brendan Glynn and he said it was still there so I gave it a go and straight away I found in a small gap in the piles of rubbish my first and the UK's first SLATY-BACKED GULL. It showed well for a minute before a Peregrine flew in for a Starling dinner and put everything up. It flew around for a couple of minutes before heading towards the reserve where a bit later we watched it at some distance on Wennington marsh. After a couple of minutes all the gulls flew off towards the Thames and wasn't seen again so it was definately skin of the teeth stuff!!

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