Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The Chilham Great Grey Shrike

I hadn't been out much over the past few days, just a couple of short trips to the local Seasalter patch where I have seen, peregrine, sparrowhawk, little gulls and red-throated divers etc.. On the 12th I noted an influx of c.3000 knot and c.4000 dunlin plus the Wraik hill area saw a few flocks of redwings dropping into the bushes.

On Sunday I saw Dave Brown had tweeted 'great grey shrike on the wires' at Chilham so I ventured over there but not expecting to see it. I parked in the sports centre car park and walked back to the bridge with just my bins. At the bridge a couple of grey wagtails were chasing one another but of course no sign of the shrike but then it appeared 15 yards from me.....no camera, how times have I done this, I never learn!  Mind you if I had taken the camera there probably would have been no sign of the bird! A quick run back to the car for the camera but on return it was of course gone.  It did return but on a rather distant bush, then disappeared again.  However,  when I was leaving I stopped on the bridge and there it was, even closer. I kept the camera in the car, just in case and was able to get a few poor shots.

I returned Monday but only got a brief view then nothing but today the 18th things improved late morning.  I went to Seasalter first hoping to see some pilot whales that were in the Medway yesterday but no sign of them. However, I just checked the high tide roost finding; 127 ringed plover, 13 turnstones, 5 sanderling, 19 great black backed gulls and c.300 dunlin. On the sea 38 shelduck were further west off the Sportsman. 

Juvenile Great Grey Shrike

I then went back to Chilham as tweets reported the shrike was back on show. Several people were there watching but it had cleared off again and didn't return until 11.53am when it stayed in the area until c.12.30.  Whilst there a fox came close and a couple of red admirals were on the wing.

Spoilt by the branch across the picture as I was panning!

1 comment:

Mike H said...

Nice shots and blog Mike. Maybe persistence will pay off for me too. I intend to give another go soon, now that the car has passed the MOT.