Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Turtle Dove

Well, it may not be the best picture ever of a Turtle Dove but I came home very happy that I had seen it and managed to get a picture. The description on SOS of within 100 yards of the Whiteways car park was accurate but I was just not sure which direction to walk in. Fortunately once you got away from the traffic it was not difficult to pick up the purring call. There were at least two birds calling at the same time and I think there was probably a third close by.

Seeing them, however, was a different problem. They were high up in the trees and were very difficult to pick out. I stood there for three hours waiting for a picture. Three other birders came and went whilst I waited, happy with the glimpses they got as the bird relocated to hide in even denser foliage. But, there was no way that I was going to leave without a record shot.

The only picture opportunity available, was on the very top of a tall tree, when the bird made a short display flight and returned to a perch. I could only get the picture direct into the sun and it only did the display flight twice (from that tree) in the time I watched. Fortunately the second time the sun was behind a cloud

Turtle Dove

Last year the best I could manage was a view of the Pagham North Wall bird from about three hundred yards and a picture where it was difficult to even pick out the shape of the bird from the noise in the shot. This was a big improvement but after waiting a couple of years for a picture, I fully expect to look out into the garden tomorrow morning and see one sitting in our pear tree.

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