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European Roller

A weekend of renovations has not gone without its rewards. On Saturday evening, while struggling through the crowds at Ikea in Croydon; I checked the RBA site for updates. "Hants ROLLER still early evening 1 ml north of Bordon at Broxhead Common......." This exotic looking species is a rare visitor to the UK and a bird I had only seen once. My first encounter was on the island of Antikythira in Greece in 2002.

Though I was tempted to go straight from Ikea to Hampshire for this bird, I decided that I would wait and go early morning. My hope was that the bird would feed before moving on. As you can see, I was successful in connecting with my first British European Roller!  Though distant, I did get great views through my scope. The bird remained in a birch tree for about 1/2 hour before flying to another snag then disappearing. It was MIA for about an hour before putting in one more final appearance before leaving the area. A Roller, presumably our bird, was reported further north,at Thursley Common, later in the day; though only briefly.


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