I finally found time to head over to Chipping Norton to see the much publicised Oriental Turtle Dove. Arriving at 7.15am I joined a small group already queuing outside the house at 41 the Leys. The accommodating owner Steve let us in early, and we packed into the kitchen to look out as it got a little lighter outside. This was a rather bizarre experience, although I can now recommend under floor heating and an Arga for winter warmth. Steve said it would appear from 7.45, and it was bang on cue! It appeared in a tree next to a Woodpigeon, and sat and preened for around 30 mins in the rain.
One point on ID, I was expecting a larger bird, although if anything this seemed smaller than European Turtle Dove.
Unfortunately the dreadful weather and cramped conditions put paid to any decent shots, but here's one for the record:
Over £2,500 raised so far for Birdlife Malta - a great result.
The rain finally cleared later in the morning, so I headed over to a site near Oxford where an American Wigeon had been hanging out. It was located quickly but distant at the far end of one of the lakes, with 6 Eurasian Wigeon.
On to Otmoor, where more rain finally gave way to some nice sun. The highlight of the afternoon was a female Merlin, watching for some time hunting out on the fields. A Marsh Tit was a nice visitor to the feeding station, one of ten species taking advantage: