Friday, 21 December 2012

Great Grey Shrike

Sunny spells. 10ยบ, light W.

A patch tick for me today in the form of a Great Grey Shrike, I missed the last one in 2002 on Lollingdon hill as I was out of the county at the time.
I decided to walk out to Lollingdon as it had been raining for the past two days and needed to get out. The footpaths were very damp and muddy; some were ankle deep in water.

 I got out to Lollingdon and rather than walk out via Aston I turned back and headed back towards Cholsey, thinking of getting back to the Bullshole and then out to the Lees. A few hundred metres back a Great Grey Shrike flew up on to the hedgerow in front of me, I think it was as surprised as I was and it then flew off down the hedge. I tried to get a couple of photos but it was too distant so I tried to close on it but it was very flighty and eventually flew across the fields and settled in a tree even further away. I could not cross the field, as it was flooded so I had to go back the way I came, in the mean time making a few phone calls.
Halfway back I noticed the bird had left the tree and was nowhere in sight I continued to look and was joined by Brian Wyatt and a couple of other birders later but no luck, very frustrating not to have got a photo but enjoyed seeing the bird.

Grid ref of first sighting was SU864575.

The fields and the footpaths in the area are very soggy and muddy so if anyone thinking of looking tomorrow please ensure you have good footwear and keep to the public paths please.
A lot of Fieldfare and Redwing in the area and twenty plus Pied Wagtail on a flooded field and a couple of Common Snipe.

Around fifty Lesser Blackback and Black-headed Gull and two Common Gull noted along with two Lapwing flocks, one of twenty three and another of fifty plus.
Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Buzzard and Red Kite all seen, also a Peregrine seen distantly that put up a lot of gulls and corvids near Aston Tirrold.

Song Thrush and Coal Tit singing along Church rd today in the sunshine.

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