Sunday, 27 January 2013

Two Shrikes

The snow has gone-yesterday the warmer air arrived and overnight rain meant that it almost all melted.
I went up to Therfield this morning, as Ray Hooper had reported two Great Grey Shrikes, and there was the usual assortment of owls and raptors.
I parked in Briary Lane and walked up the track. There was still a little bit of ice and snow in some of the more sheltered spots but generally it was very wet and muddy. Getting to the top of the track I bumped into a couple from Norfolk and they pointed out one of the shrikes at the bottom of the field sheltering from the wind tucked into the bottom of a hedge. They mentioned that they had found the bird earlier while some more were watching another bird over towards Duckpudlle Bush Farm.
I made my way down Icknield Way encountering a large flock of Linnets numbering maybe 100 as well as numerous Skylarks, and smaller numbers of Yellowhammers and a couple of Corn Buntings. Hares could be seen in most of the fields as well.
Down in the small stand of trees, I saw the second Shrike briefly but it had disappeared by the time other birders had arrived. Carefully checking the bushes, trees and hedges failed to produce anything else of note but on returning to the junction with the eastern path two Kestrels and two or more Buzzards appeared.

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