Three months later I returned with my friends Marika Kovacs and Arthur Lee. I realised that an August afternoon is not a good time for seeing birds, but it was lovely to walk around and there were plenty of lapwings, some reed and sedge warblers singing, and a family of bullfinches in the hedgerow. We passed the notices about the turtle doves and a roped-off area where seed has been thrown down for them, but I knew there had been few sightings this year.
Just before we turned back to the car park I saw a dove on the telegraph wires, but it was against the light and I suspected it was a collared dove. It flew off. A minute or two later we heard the unmistakable call of the turtle dove. Full of hope we retraced our steps to the oak tree, where I have seen them in the past.
There it was, its attractive brown feathers showing clearly. I am sorry that the photo below does not do it justice.
So I have been able to give a tick to turtle dove on my list again this year. On an unlikely August afternoon, Otmoor came up trumps again.