Saturday, April 16, 2011

Woodchat Shrike:Llangennith,Gower

Although I'm well into double figures for Great Grey Shrikes in the UK my list of the "summer" shrikes is quite pitiful in comparison with only one Red Backed Shrike and two previous Woodchat Shrikes so I was keen to catch up with this bird and hopeful of getting a few "snaps".
I'd been keeping my fingers crossed all week that it would stay 'til the weekend and the bird duly obliged.
I phoned Peter "Pedro" Morgan from Bridgend who was equally keen and after meeting him at Sarn Junc 36 on the M4 we were soon heading west to the Gower.
We duly arrived at Hillend Caravan Park in Llangennith and after parking up were soon strolling across the dunes in search of the shrike.
We scanned some of the scrub but with no luck and I then spied the friendly face through my bins of Phil Hill with Mrs Hill coming towards us and Phil soon put us on to the bird which was a little further along the track,we'd been looking in the wrong place-no change there then !!
The bird was quite conspicuous with it's chestnut cap and black and white plummage and whilst it perched up prominently on the top of brambles and bushes it never allowed an approach closer than 25-30m before it took flight.
We snapped away with our cameras and I managed to get a few reasonable record shots.
We stayed for about 1 1/2 hrs always trying to get that little bit closer for that "crippler" of a shot but realising that the bird wasn't going to allow a closer approach and with evening closing in and the light getting poorer with more cloud cover we headed for home.
We couldn't really complain,a third "Woodie" for me (all in Glamorgan) and a UK "lifer" for Peter,quite a good afternoon all in all.


Jeremy said...

Nice shots, Jeff. The secret to getting closer, I found, was to sit down quietly with my back to a sand dune near its favourite bush, and wait quietly. It would then perch within 15-20m, and didn't seem to know I was there!

Dan said...

Nice shots Jeff. I wish I hadn't been so "boring" now and stayed at home. I could have taken my pipe & slippers to Llangennith for a day out.

Jeff said...

Your pipe and slippers would really have enjoyed the afternoon,cracking bird and would have given brilliant 'scope views,best of the three Woodies I've seen.

Wayne said...

Corker! Would have been nice to see DJJ out with his pipe and slippers too!