I was away in Devon when the Warham Green's Brown Shrike was showing off to the crowds, so when one was reported an hour further north than the Taiga Flycatcher it was always going to be in the plan. Sadly due to the tides there wouldn't be any access during the afternoon after the Flycatcher so we stayed over night in Ashington (where the famous Charlton brothers were born) for a morning assault.
A pretty dreadful nights sleep meant we were up early and on the road to Holy Island where we had seen the Asian Desert Warbler in the spring. My local contact Ross, kindly gave us some directions to walk from the car park. Rain and heavy cloud over night gave us a relative amount of hope as we walked through some pretty muddy terrain. Suddenly we saw two birders walking very intendly and in the distance were a small group of birders! This looked hopeful.
When we reached the group they informed us the bird had been seen ten minutes ago, so it was just a waiting game. It did seem very quiet and we did wonder perhaps it wasn't the bird they had seen at a distance. Then after around 20 minutes our target bird, the Brown Shrike, popped up on the fence line and duly performed like you would expect a Shrike too. The scope provided some fantastic views but the bird was in fairness too far for photographs & video.
We were both delighted that we had seen both our north east target birds. It's certainly been a great year for birding that is for sure. Before we left we saw a Red-flanked Bluetail & Barred Warbler in the village. Around the island there were thousands of geese and waders to enjoy. We set off for home late morning both rather shattered and keen to recharge our batteries.