Thursday, 14 September 2017

Missed opportunity but Woodchat compensation

Prolonged westerlies & a week off set me up for a trip up the M6 to hopefully see my first Leach's Petrel however an afternoon trip for high tide didn't really motivate me as I'd of had a shocking return journey in heavy traffic. Instead I picked up Chris & the Squire to follow up a report the same species were at the much closer Severn Bridge. 

Despite a quick journey it was all in vein as all the action had happened in the previous hour. As hard as we looked our sightings were restricted to 3 Manx Sheareater, a Sparrowhawk, Common Gull, 40 Dunlin & 80+ Turnstones. Not even a cup of tea & cake would improve our luck so we headed back up the M5.

The Squire was snoozing within minutes (as normal) when I remembered the reported Woodchat Shrike wasn't far off the motorway at Chipping Sodbury Common. The Squire had been the previous week so he duly marched us across the common to the Shrike hunting area. For the first fifteen minutes we had to settle for good views of several Whinchat & two Wheatear. 

After a bit of head scratching the juvenile Woodchat Shrike was duly located and treated us to some superb views. Paul thought the birds crown seemed more brown than on it's first visit. It will be interesting to see how long this mediterranean visitor stays given how comfortable it looked. 

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