Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Don't Tell Anyone but...

Record only shot of today's Great Grey Shrike
Spurn's Great Grey Shrike (Sept '08) - a slightly better view!
Marsh Tit
Great Tit
Mediterranean Gull - 1st winter?

Had a day off as the past 11 Wednesdays enjoyed fairly decent weather - most other sessions didn't finish as planned last week - so thought I'd have a look at the site where 2 of last week's twaggers went! I was all hawked out after Sunday's outing to North Yorkshire, so went looking for the Wykeham Great Grey Shrike instead. After 90 minutes of getting stuck behind a series of drivers crawling along at ridiculously slow speeds, there it was in a clearing perched high in one of three tallish dead conifers - thanks to John Sadler for very accurate directions. It had a larder of a Common Lizard (sorry Mike) left hanging in a stubby bush, but did keep flying down to the ground for live food during the time I was watching it. If you do go, take a scope, as the views are always distant - to avoid disturbance you should only view from the paths. I then popped over to the feeding station at Forge Valley, and was hoping for good views of a series of the usual suspects, but again kept being thwarted by a series of what seemed to be Robin Strokers, plus a really ignorant Land Rover driver who finally drove all around the car park & parked up as near to the feeders as he could, and then got out his vehicle & ate his sarnie as he walked up & down ensuring no birds came back. I hope he found a nice frozen bag of peas to nurse his metaphorical black eye! At least I discovered it's probably best to avoid the lunch hours when visiting this location! And then on to the south area of Scarborough to see a new bird for me. There seemed to be nothing around, but I put some bread on the ground and within a minute a gull covered in striking brown markings came down for a feed. It was forced off by a pair of crows & then a Jackdaw, but it circled around until they had left, when it was able to snatch a few more crumbs. To paraphrase Dr. Johnson it was worth seeing, but not worth going to see. It certainly wouldn't have been worth the journey if I hadn't been nearby anyway. However, to see an individual in its smart summer plumage may be a different story...


John Sadler said...

Glad you found it ok Michael:)

East Ayton Birder said...

Don't drive a volvo by any chance do you Mike.

Michael Flowers said...

Wish I did Dave, can only afford a Skoda I'm afraid!

Yorkie said...

But as it took bread can you be sure it wasn't an escapee?

Michael Flowers said...

Believe it or not, there's different rules for gulls to those for Garganeys!

East Ayton Birder said...

Passed the feeding station just after 9.00am this morning, and someone was set up for a photography session.

It can be really frustrating with other users, many of whom aren't even interested in the birds, and as you say Michael try to avoid popular times.