After dipping on Thurs 3.Jan 2008 with Phil Hardwick 3 0f the 4 "Boxers" made a visit to Perthcelyn near Llanwonno in search of the elusive returning Great Grey Shrike which was revisiting it's wintering grounds for the 3rd year.
I picked up Dan,together with Gethin ("The Twitchmeister") and Gwenni and we made our way up to Perthcelyn via Ynysybwl,we had arranged to meet Wayne at the parking area but a phonecall on our way up from Wayne confirmed that he would be late through having to make a detour as the road over the mountain from the Rhondda was closed.
At this point I should mention that Tim should have been invited to join us but a certain member of "Boxers" with a hyphonated brain as well as surname forgot to send a text !!
Anyway we made our way up to the clear fell area where the bird has most often been seen hoping as we walked to have flushed a Snipe or if we were really lucky a Jack Snipe,no such luck though I'm afraid.
We climbed the gate into the clear fell area and after walking about halfway up the fell we spotted the shrike on top of a tree at the back of the area.
I "digiscoped a few photos but the bird was always some distance away so a good close up was impossible.
The shrike although showing well was very mobile and moved from treetop to treetop getting further from us all the while.
A phone call from Wayne confirmed that he had caught us up but he had taken a different route from the parking area and ended up at the top of the fell area,ever thought that you were being watched !!
We watched the bird for about 45 mins firstly as it chased a Meadow Pipit and then punching well above it's weight the little blighter even had a go at a passing crow !!
"The Twitchmeister" was pleased as this was yet another "lifer" for his ever growing list,that's about 4 already in 2008 and I'm sure the list will grow and grow as the year progresses.
Wayne joined us and we continued to watch the shrike until it finally disappeared from view,
we scanned the forestry in hope of a Goshawk but were out of luck on this occasion and so headed back to our cars.
On the return walk we bumped into our new GBC Webmaster Dan Freidman with his lovely wife Alison who were also going in search of the shrike,it was the first time any of us had met Dan and it was nice to put a face to the name.
Whilst we were chatting at the parking area a passing Sparrowhawk and a Common Buzzard added to the day list.
To wrap up the morning we called into Lisvane Reservoir to add the lingering Spotted Sandpiper to our 2008 year lists but the bird was nowhere to be seen preferring to feed at the adjacent Llanishen Reservoir well out of sight,oh well there's always next time.