Sunday, 20 February 2011

Two tick day: Oriental Turtle Dove and Slaty-backed Gull OMFL!!!

Distant shot of the Slaty-backed Gull at Rainham RSPB
Oriental Turtle Dove twitch thanks Beast!!
Pieman at the Slaty Gull twitch!!
So on Thursday and news from the previous day of the Slaty-backed Gull was refound again at Rainham Marshes RSPB, London and the long staying Oriental Turtle Dove at Chipping Norton,Oxfordshire a two tick day was on the cards.
So meeting up with Neil Hagley and the famous "Pieman" Mark Reeder we were on the road by 8.00am and got to Chipping Norton just before 9.30am.
Parking in the small town, we walked down the hill on to "The Leys" and met up with the Beast (Colin Towe) and Trev Woodcroft who had been on site since 8.00am. The dove had been seen briefly an hour earlier but since then it had disappeared in to the local gardens. Then Neil said those magic words "There it is in the nearby ash tree!"
Viewing the dove from the road, the dove sat in the tree for the next 15minutes until it was flushed a wood pigeon.
So the first bird ticked off Oriental Turtle Dove OMFL! Get In!!
Over the next hour we waited  for the dove to reappear and of course the conversation centred around the next bird on the list and if on cue the pager and text message came through to state that the Slaty Gull was now showing at Rainham Marshes!
Happy with the views we got of the dove, we decided to go for the Gull. So after an hour and half via the M40 and M25 (and 25+ Red Kites later), we reached Cold Harbour Lane around 1.30pm. Parking at the small car park opposite Wennington Marshes, It wasn't long before we were scoping the bird on the distant marshes. Get In Slaty-backed Gull OMFL!!
Although the bird was distant we could still pick up the salient features of the bird. This bird was a "Brute" in gulling terms, and I didn't realise how big this bird until I saw it in real life!
As usual I tried to take a few digishots of the gull which at least was half a mile away!?
Meeting up with the Beast and Trev again, we watched the bird until it flew off around 3.15pm towards the tip. With the bird flying off we were happy to call it a day and all commented that it was a very long time ago when the group had two ticks in a day!?!
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