Sunday, 16 August 2009

(RBS) Royal Bank of Shrike

Situated East of the River Medway and North of the well watched and visited New Hythe lies the village of Wouldham, a small village nestled next to the river and with fantastic views across to the West and Halling marshes. Fortunately a birder lives there, Ian Shepherd who also has notched a fair few good birds on his local patch over the years testament to the efforts of a birder diligently checking his area and having the thoughtfulness to allow others to see the birds he finds. A singing Pallas's Warbler in the spring, Pec Sand in the autumn, Grey headed Gull of unknown origins plus Red-rumped Swallow and Leach's Petrel. Incredibly this year he found a second Red backed Shrike hot on the heels of the autumn 2008 bird and as it just so happened to be on route from Northfleet to the Ashdown Forest I went and had a butchers 'so to speak' . Often distant it showed well in exactly the same bushes as the bird I didn't see in 2008.
Prime Shrike habitat complete with typically Kent decor, white polystyrene and copious amounts of Moo pooh!
The RBS, the smaller brown fuzzy object .
A close up out of focus in the heat and dung haze taken through the scope and a dust screen.
A stop at Bough Beech on the way to the Ashdown Forest produced lots of birders, and this Little Egret, in fact more birders than the week before when there was a rarity here? The Ashdown was quite bird wise but we had a nice picnic none the less

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