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Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Great Grey Shrike at Upper Hollesley Common

Having to take the 500mm lens back for repair today Wednesday 11 March, (again- auto focus is in permanent hunting mode again!) I revisited the picturesque Upper Hollesley Common (after my trip to Colchester camera centre) where I had previously seen Roller, 2 years previously and parking further down the road near the Red Lodge, I luckily bumped into 2 birders- I had no idea whereabouts the GG Shrike was on the Common. I took a walk along the diagonal path and this revealed a pair of fine Stonechat and a super male Dartford Warbler that flew from bush to bush and then flew towards me and across the path to a bush opposite. These birds are always nice to see sporting their rich wine red underparts and slate grey upper parts and long tail. 2 Buzzard flew over near the Army base. Someone, a well known photographer, was lurking first in the woods and then walked unbelievably right over the common and in Shrike territory (not sticking to the path whatsoever!) consequently no sign of the GG Shrike at first. I walked through the woods and saw a fine Red Admiral butterfly and 2 singing Goldcrests and 5 Chaffinches assembling in trees near a pool of water on the path. Once said photographer had left after an hour, the Shrike soon put in an appearance. I spotted the aforementioned and excellent Great Grey Shrike, (which are always nice to see especially on their wintering grounds), perched on a distant bush. It sat first on the left side of the bush and then the right. It eventually flew down to the ground then perched in a spindly tree, before it flew left (I finally watched this bird from the south east corner of the Army base fence. Distant viewing but reasonable with the scope).

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