Sunday, 18 October 2015
Isabelline & OBP
On Thursday 15th October, I was able to take the rest of the day off work from 10.15am, so after checking the Isabelline was still at Beeston I drove straight there. Unfortunately, it started to rain as I reached Crome but undeterred I continued to the Beeston Common road on the east side of the road assuming the Common was there, it wasn't it was opposite and there was a very conveniently situated large lay-by opposite where I parked with all the other birders cars and was fortunately to bump into Taxidermy John B, who told me exactly where the bird and saying it was still showing well despite the rain. From the lay-by the Common was accessed just a few steps further along and walking west along a path to a group of birders including Eddie M & John R. The bird the superb Isabelline Shrike, was distant perched on the top of 3 bushes. It was a pale bird with usual dark band on the rear of the ear coverts. It then flew much closer to a bare stick bush close to the path and appeared totally oblivious to the advancing birders it spent a lot of time here flying down to the ground and catching insects most of these were wasps. it then flew back to the far bushes where it again used these for lookouts to fly down to catch more insectivorous prey again mostly wasps. Next stop was Muckleborough Hills parking in Ventnor Gardenrs directly opposite the track. This area is just past the Muckleborough Tank museum entrance. I walked down the track where it slowly turned to the left and then up a hill overlooking a grassy heathy area surrounded by trees. The Pipit had just been seen but it had flown into the wood. 1 chap walked around the clear area and the Pipoit flew up and into the wood. It was later seen in the middle of the clear area on the deck and I was one of the lucky few to spot it here where it hopped out of some bracken I could see an olive- backed bird with split creamy super cilia and wing bar for all of 20 seconds before it moved out of view obscured by the thickest coup of bracken. We then incredibly lost it. It was later flushed from this area by a third person carefully walking around and I saw it fy back into the tree of the wood where it perched very, very briefly before disappearing behind the tree and into a hollow. No sign of the GG Shrike at Salthouse but I did see a Short- eared Owl hunting over the marsh.