Friday, 15 November 2013

Great Grey Shrike

Thursday afternoon saw me over at Waltham Brooks looking for the Great Grey Shrike. Both birds had been seen in the morning but neither seemed to be present whilst I was there. Having returned empty handed yesterday I was up early and over at the Brooks by 07.30 this morning.There was little point in viewing from the road. The early morning sun is straight into your eyes and photographs would be impossible. Instead I took the footpath to a point south of where I expected the bird to be and hid in one of the bushes.

Fortunately I did not have to wait long before one of the birds turned up. First views were a bit disappointing. It did not look like the sleek hunting bird I had remembered from Thursley Common. Instead it looked like a cute cuddly child's toy.

Great Grey Shrike - seems pretty relaxed

I am sure it knew where I was standing but it did not seem concerned and sat for a good ten minutes whilst I took pictures of it. It was quite a chilly morning so it was probably happier sitting under fluffed up feathers than having to fly around.

At one point It saw something that interested it and seemed about to take off but then thought better of it.

Looking more like a mini polar bear

After a while it started to get a bit more active, moving around between various perches and starting to look more like the Great Grey Shrike I remembered.

Looks more of a hunter now

By about 0915 there were a number of birders starting to gather on the road and it seemed like a wise move to withdraw from the position I was holding. As I left the bird headed over towards the road. Perhaps it was interested to see who its next group of admirers were.

I was pleased. It had been a good morning. I would be back home by ten with some decent pictures and I had also had good views of at least another twenty species.

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