Sunday, 31 October 2010

October 31st 2010

Just when your glass is half empty it becomes half full - magic

Great Grey Shrike by Andy Hale

The day started mild but dull with very low cloud and a light south east wind as Dave and I looked for owls down the Southam Rd before dawn but we only heard a distant Tawny though Dave was impressed with the 10,000 gulls that flew over low almost silently as they left the roost at Draycote Water long before we had any decent light.
We moved on to Grandborough where we had 3 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Raven, 4 Goosander flying south east, 40 Linnet, 12 Fieldfare while along the Hill Rd there were 50 Yellowhammer, 50 Chaffinch, 9 Tree Sparrow and a single Corn Bunting.
Even at 8am Draycote Water was like the M25 with bikers and runners whizzing around like blue arse fly’s so our walk was unpleasant only managing 7 Goldeneye, 40 Meadow Pipit and 3 Pochard when a call from Colin arranging to meet at the Long Itchington Diner for breakfast got us out of there sharpish.
Once fed and watered we decided on Napton on the Hill but after 45 minutes and only finding 6 Mistle Thrush, 4 Greenfinch and 7 Redwing in the gloom I was ready to throw my toys out the pram and call it a day but as we arrived at the quarry things started to change.

Great Grey Shrike by Andy Hale

The cloud started to thin with a little drizzle which was enough for small parties of Redwing, Starling and Skylark to fly over then Dave shouted LOOK in my scope – all I could see were Chaffinches then bingo GREAT GREY SHRIKE – yippee all is well with the world. The bird was on the telegraph wires over the old brickyard below us and once satisfied we put the news out and what seemed an endless wait for the first birders to arrive it continued to feed well and soon Paul C, Andy, Dave L, Paul A and Jeff were on the bird. Also seen were 2 Chiffchaff, Great-spotted Woodpecker, 4 Lesser Redpoll, Goldcrest, 14 Long-tailed Tit and 2 Raven.
Many thanks to Paul Cashmore for the video ( having problems loading so hope to have that solved soon) and to Andy Hale for his photographs – very much appreciated and I hope to drag you out again as we are on a roll – Bearded Tit, Waxwing, Great Grey Shrike so may be Napton will give me a longed for Lapland Bunting next week.

Moral of the day - It’s not over till the fat lady sings even if sometimes it feels like she’s sitting on you.


1 comment:

ShySongbird said...

Well done Richard, a real cracker! I did manage the juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs at Port Meadow, Oxford recently, had you heard about it?

Those cyclists at Draycote are a pain, you don't hear them coming up behind you.