About Me

I am a novice to birding and have become interested since walking Frank our dog, a cross Flat Coat / Springer around Hastings Country Park and the surrounding area, I realised the little brown birds weren't just sparrows.

Monday, 4 January 2010

The Great Grey Shrike

During yesterday's outing I was asked several times if I had seen the Great Grey Shrike at Pannel Valley especially as it is my local patch. Sadly I had to admit that despite going there five times I had still to see it.
Looking at the SOS website on Sunday evening - It had been seen while I was down at Pagham I was determined to have another go. After an early lunch I set off and parked by the road bridge in Pannel Lane and walked down the footpath through the waterlogged field to the last hide and still no sign. Here I met another birder it was his fourth time looking for it, which made me feel a little better.
With some dissapointment I had a quick look at the scrape from the top hide Teal, Shelduck and a couple of Snipe obliged and I set off back to the truck. Entering the waterlogged field I located a Marsh Harrier high and then another quartering the reed beds - I always find them fascinating - then a Barn Owl appeared and managed to get in the scope, followed it for 3 or 4 minutes and got superb views as it flew directly towards me. After picking up the scope I couldn't believe my eyes there it was looking at me from the Alder tree the Shrike was there. It gave me 15 minutes and time for photos but when I tried to get a better angle the Great Grey Shrike flew. - 4th January 4 new species to the list.

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