Monday, 1 July 2013

An Exotic Couple Of Days one way of putting it. But I suppose you could replace the word 'exotic' with 'plastic' or 'desperate'!!!

Whilst at work yesterday I got news of a Laughing Dove in a private Seaton garden. It's not a species I've really though about before in the UK - so phoned Phil to have a chat about its vagrancy potential. This was followed up by a tweet asking the same.  The conclusion I drew from all the comments was although there is a chance, the probability is overwhelmingly in favour of it coming from a cage. Oh well. I could spice it up a bit by saying "it's behaving wild","no rings", "elusive", but that's all meaningless.

I managed to see it after work, well I heard it first, singing away not far from my house...

Looking rare

Shortly after I saw it I was sent a few pics from the couple who first spotted it in their garden earlier in the day. Here's one of them...

(c) Peter and Lesley Clarke

It know it looks like it only has one foot, but it does have both, it's in mid step.

So how could it get any more exotic/plastic? Well a text this morning from Ian M that informed me of a female Mandarin on the Estuary. Now this is a less than annual bird on patch, and unlike the dove, is fully tickable for the patch year lister. So without hesitation I went down there to get my first patch year tick in over a month...

Naff record shot of a grey brown lump of feathers

So some mild excitement in mid summer. No where near as exciting as this though...

Yes, despite the fact Jess has spent time with me immediately after some horrendous patch dips (Garganey, Glauc and Caspian Gulls), and spent the whole entire last winter with the only patch birder in the whole of the UK who couldn't get Waxwing on their patch list (so a pretty miserable and frustrated chap!) she said yes.  And then there's all the early mornings/late nights/quick trips around the river/urgent patch twitches/last minute diversions/repetitive walks around certain sites... God the list could go one! To say Jess is understanding is the biggest understatment of the year!!

I can reveal it's not going to be a long engagement either - 2014 will be our year and we are really looking forward to our future together.


  1. Hi Steve
    Heartiest congrats to you both on your engagement. Keep up the good work on your blog. Havn't been able to get down to Seaton for some time myself, so always interested in what you have been up to.

    Allan M

  2. Thanks Allan, very kind of you. And thanks for the kind comment regarding the blog. Hope you manage to get down here soon.

    Best wishes


  3. Congratulations, Steve (and Jess).

  4. Many thanks for that Andrew! Hope you still watching your patch?