Sunday, March 11, 2007

Return for the Great Grey Shrike

Although disappointed that I couldn't make the Cornwall twitch for the Gyr Falcon and White Billed Diver because of Teresa's recent spell in hospital I was pleased to get out locally for a morning and myself and Colin Gittins headed for Perthcelyn to try and refind the Great Grey Shrike.
We were a little apprehensive as it had been refound recently by Glyn Roberts but in a different location to where it had been seen previously although apparently not a great distance away.
We need not have worried as within 2-3 minutes of arriving we both picked up the bird perched at the top of a pine directly below the quarry area it has frequented.

It proceded to perform beautifully hunting and eating bees and flitted from tree top to tree top without coming particularly close.

I'd been dying to try out my new Fuji Finepix F30 digi-camera with my scope that I'd bought the previous weekend and so both myself and Colin reeled off shot after shot in the hope of picking up a couple of "half-tidy" pics.

Digi-scoping wasn't easy as the bird never came really close so a high magnification was always necessary and what with a keen breeze things were a little tricky.

We kept firing away until the shrike decided to have a go at a Siskin that flew directly over quite close to it and it settled once again on a tree but this time quite some distance away.

We decided we had seen enough and with Siskin,Redpoll,Raven and Kestrel in the bag and time on our hands we headed for Cardiff Bay to pick up the adult winter Little Gull and hopefully a Black Redstart and possibly a newly arrived Wheatear.

A scan of the "lake" soon picked out the adult winter Little Gull and we also picked out a 1st winter and a pair of Goosanders in the distance.

A walk along the barrage failed to turn up anything more than Rock Pipits and Pied Wagtails but we headed for home quite pleased with our morning's birding.

It's not that often that you get your best ever views of a hunting Great Grey Shrike !!