Saturday, 31 March 2007

Shrike it Lucky!

A good couple of days for us, best bird undoubtedly being the Great Grey Shrike at Ogston Reservoir, Derbys. Whatever the books might say about Shrikes perching atop bushes is wrong! Elusive is hardly the word, skulking barely covers it any better, nonetheless we did get two decent views of the bird in flight. It looked a little smaller than one might expect, but otherwise unmistakable.
Our sympathies went out to an older couple of local bird club members, they arrived two minutes after the Shrike gave the only half hour showing of the day, and promptly thereafter searched hard, so hard they tired and retreated to their car for a nap. As you might imagine, this was when the bird was again visible. There's a moral in that somewhere.
Seemed like plenty of other birders attracted by reports of the Shrike missed out too as for much of the day it remained deeply in a thicket. It is perhaps very telling that for a regional mega that's been around for a couple of weeks now the only photograph of it is very distant indeed. If that doesn't impress, I'm happily quoting the local bird news websites that say it's the first Shrike on site since 1978, so perhaps you'll forgive my boasting?

Also got my first Little Ringed Plover of the year, to go with the Wheatear I found at the old pit yesterday. Good time to be out and about anywhere.

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