The highlight of the morning was without doubt when at 8.00 a.m. Ian shouted "Great Grey Shrike" and there above us, slightly to the west was a Great Grey Shrike with its 'bouncing' flight heading north. Awesome! In fact I think when I looked at it I was heard to exclaim "Gret Grey f*cking Shrike"! We watched it head north over the houses until it disappeared from view. Stunning!
Below are slome shots of Northern Shrike in the hand taken by my good friend Nigel in Canada. Not exactly the same as our Great Grey Shrike, but in teh absence of a Great Grey picture it will do.
Even though we had had such a mega (relatively speaking of course) the vis was actually fairly quiet. I had my first Fieldfare of the Autumn and numbers of Redwings and Song Thrushes were in single figures. In fact everything that moved over was in single figures including Meadow Pipit, Siskin, Alba Wagtail, Skylark, Rock Pipit (expectedly in single figures) and Goldfinch. The only birds moving in numbers were the 200 Jackdaws that headed south.
Arrivals of wildowl were represented by 4 Whooper Swans and 92 Pink-footed Geese heading fairly high to the south. Raptors included Kestrel and Sparrowhawk, and that was it for birding. But who needed anything else after the Great Grey Shrike.
From a ringing perspective we processed 52 new birds as follows, with numbers of retraps in brackets:
Song Thrush - 1
Redwing - 1
Goldcrest - 3
Long-tailed Tit - 1 (1)
Reed bunting - 6
Blue Tit - 3 (2)
Dunnock - 1 (1)
Blackbird - 5
Greenfinch - 31
Robin - (2)
The ringing team back 'to it' after the distraction of the Great Grey Shrike
And why a Redwing is called a Redwing