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Twitchers descend on Rum - October 2013


Mourning Dove Twitchers (c) Ali Morris

29th October 2013 was an odd day in the lives of some of Rum’s residents as around 30 twitchers arrived via the

Loch Nevis to see the Mourning Dove that had arrived in one of the resident’s gardens the previous day.

The bird, an extremely rare North American visitor to the UK, was seen at first light then not again all morning despite near constant monitoring. At 1150, it reappeared at the feeding station in the garden and it was hoped that the bird enthusiasts would indeed get a chance of seeing it, before disappearing up into the branches again a short while later.

On arrival, the twitchers set up camp eager to catch a glimpse before having to get back onto the ferry two hours later for the return to Mallaig.There was an intense hush as telescopes, binoculars and cameras we trained upon the fir tree and feeding station. After about 20 tense minutes, the Mourning Dove was spotted, sparking a mad rush for a good position within the crowd. Eventually after repositioning themselves a few times, everyone had seen the bird and the tension began to dissipate.

At this point, community tea shop representatives rushed out with the newly named ‘pop-up’ café of tea, coffee, soup and cakes for our visitors. All donations will be added the Village Hall Improvement Fund. Then as quickly and quietly as everyone arrived they were off again, one man heading directly (well, as directly as possible by water and road!) to Cornwall to see a Hermit Thrush.

A big thank you to everyone involved.

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