Monday, 2 May 2016


Yesterday I made an impulsive decision. I was out with my pal when an update came on the pager...
Kent WESTERN RUFOUS TURTLE DOVE (form meena) still present north of Sevenoakes on south side of Otford. I'd seen the Chipping Norton bird in 2011 but it was the other race...Orientalis. I'd read a few things on-line and the general consensus seemed to be that the chances of a split (they become 2 separate species) were slim. I weighed things up. I had the time, it was a 4 hour drive and I reckoned I had a fair chance of seeing the bird and maybe getting a pic?
Bud stayed at home with his Mum and off I went.
My pal Trevor Charlton was already on site and had seen the bird. I didn't expect him to still be there when I arrived at 1 but I was pleased to see that he was. The bird hadn't been seen for quite a while so we settled back in the group (c50) and waited. We had a good view along the back gardens and the leaf cover was minimal due to the tropical weather we'd had! Fortunately the weather on this day was superb.
Still no sign by mid-afternoon, then a possible sighting. Much debate ensued as the bird in question was partially obscured by branches. It was an amazing "spot" by someone? many 'scopes were trained on the quarry and eventually it was confirmed as "the bird". I personally managed a brief but conclusive view before it shifted position and was lost to view.
Below is a heavily cropped record shot...
Disappointing views but better than no view! An insurance tick.
We decided to make tracks around 5.30 and hoped to see each other again the next 1.

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