27th May 2013
The main mission today was to try to see and photograph Turtles Doves and the nearest place I know where they can still be seen is Fowlmere. Being a Bank Holiday Monday the car park was full, although birders were far out-numbered by families taking their children for a walk in the countryside. I wish more parents would do that.
I started off in the Drewers Hide where I was tipped off that the Turtles Dove this year seemed to be favouring the western side of the reserve, so I set off for an anti-clockwise circuit. Unfortunately, I neither saw or heard any doves and soon arrived at the Reed Bed Hide where I had photographed them, albeit distantly, last year. Still no sign.
I settled down in the hide for a spot of lunch and was entertained by a pair of Long-tailed Tits that obviously had a nest nearby as they were rummaging around in the tangle of shrubbery below. They were quite hard to photograph as, although frequently visible, they were often obscured. However, eventually I did manage to get a shot.
In a nearby Hawthorn a male Linnet was singing its head off. What was surprising, however, was that its plumage was more typical of a female. Closer inspection of the photographs revealed the slightest hint of red starting to appear above the bill and the suggestion of a greyish head. You would expect male Linnets to be a bit more colourful at this time of year, even last year's birds.
There was an air display in progress at nearby Duxford and we were treated to a constant stream of aircraft on the horizon, from huge World War II American bombers to a yellow Tiger Moth. Not to be outdone a pair of Grey Lag Geese thought they would join in and set off on a couple of laps of the mere before lining up for what appeared to be a crash landing!!