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Sunday, 9 June 2013

Shrike & Marsh Warbler

A very welcome tweet from James W had me walking along to Gunton Warren, seeing Rob Wil, James W & Josh, I walked a litle closer and following Rob's pointing, saw the excellent female Red- backed Shrike sitting on the edge of the bramble face on, after a while she hopped and turned back on, I managed a few shots and fairly close range but annoyingly was on the wrong focus setting on the camera. This was rectified seconds later but only after she had flown a few feet further back. The grey clouds were rolling in and I joined the Lowestoft Lizards and we enjoyed watching the Shrike initially she kept to near the sycamore but later on flew around 80 yards north of there before eventually returning. Then onto Southwold, parking at the harbour and walking up to the bailey bridge, met Steve & Dot who said turn right and walk 100 yards north along the old rail way line to a ditch near a load of cows and it was there. reaching a bushy area overlooking the ditch i could immediately hear the excellent singing Marsh Warbler, thanks to Richard, I saw the bird immediately as he directed me to the bird perching at the base of the bush on a thick branch extending right of the trunk. It then flew and was later seen in the reeds just in front of the bushes. Brian S arrived and he immediately located the Marsh Warbler singing from reeds at the edge of the dyke, always partially obscured I managed to get some half decent shots. As we watched the bird, a shout of "Turtle Dove!" went up and my first Suffolk bird seen since Sept 2011, flew over our heads down the path and north then west, great to see this species again. We then spent some time watching the Marsh warbler showing a yellow bill and gape, surprisingly dark for a Marsh Warbler but still sandy brown plumage and longer wings distinguished (as well as the amazingly varied song full of musical mimicry) from Redd warbler. A really enjoyable visit.

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