The Kingfishers at Forest Farm had taken preference over a stay at the caravan last weekend and what with this being our final weekend of the season it gave me a chance of going for the returning Great Grey Shrike at Mynydd Illtyd on the outskirts of Brecon.
It's a large area of common heathland covered in bracken and gorse and holds amongst it's species Whinchat,Stonechat,Linnet,Meadow Pipit and Skylark.
I rolled up at about 09.30 on Saturday and after passing a small group of Fieldfares feeding in a hawthorn tree the next bird I saw was the shrike hunting from it's perch on one of the bracken bales (cut and harvested for bedding I am told),driver's side of the jeep and not 30' from me !!
There was nowhere to park and so I backed up to the nearest pull-in but on dashing back to the spot found that the bird had disappeared,I'd had cracking close views but the camera was in the boot of the Jeep,DOH !!
I spent the next 3 1/2 hours searching the common but to no avail,I did however come across a flock of c100 Golden Plover which with careful approach work gave me views down to about 20yds and the chance to get some shots in nice light that I was really quite pleased with.
I've been an admirer of Steve's work in the photo gallery of the Brecknock Birds website for some time but we hadn't ever met until Saturday,we chatted for a while before checking out an area where Steve has located the shrike in previous years.
Within five minutes we had found the bird high on some hawthorn on the far side of a field and it soon relocated to the fenceline between the field and the common.
What a frustrating bird to try and photograph,it really gave us the runaround and can disappear for hours on end.
I doubt that will put me off though and I'll probably give it another go a few times over the coming months,"watch this space".....................