Summer Days Drifting Away but, (sigh), Those Suhummmer Shri-ikes
Tell me more, Tell me more I hear you cry. A splendid find off the beaten track above Buston Barns by John Rutter on Monday night was an adult male Red-backed Shrike. Coming as it did late afternoon I exited through the revolving door as my better half returned from work and was soon on the phone to SS on site with the dreaded news, no sign for thirty minutes.
Arriving to an empty road I feared the worst, a pleasant stroll down the country lane produced little until another local birder AG arrived suggesting last report had been from further up the road. We both moved on about 500m and parked up and began to search with little success. After a few minutes, with AG walking back toward me, the Shrike suddenly appeared moving low at speed across the adjacent fallow field allowing me the time honoured pantomime tradition of calling out "It's behind you!" (although given the tone of this post I may have been better turning up my collar, pointing and shouting "Greased Lightening").
Gradually working its way back down the hedge it settled after a while, regurgitating a pellet after about ten minutes before becoming active and hunting again. With little cover, close approach was impossible, any attempt by either of us to get photos moved it further on. With just AG and his wife present until ADMc arrived we all settled for good, if distant, views of a special summer bird once it had returned back to the hedge from wherever it disappeared to as we approached it. Smart bird.
The one I need (oh yes indeed)
Finder - John Rutter
Image - Alan Tilmouth
Title & Image caption courtesy of Grease The Musical.
Text Information Boulmer Birder (other information services are available but not always as reliable)