Newbiggin/Woodhorn came up trumps with Red-backed Shrikes in May with two males arriving. What may not be widely known is that one of the males was heard singing and the following day a female was also found in the same location. Understandably news of this was kept fairly low profile just in case the presence of 'a pair' developed into something more interesting. It hasn't and neither bird has been seen since, whether they were ever present at exactly the same time or whether the male singing actually 'pulled in' the female will remain a mystery, but three shrikes over three days in one small area is a good return in anyone's book!
Red-backed Shrike (female)
I had planned to go listening for Quail for a couple of hours this morning before attempting some forest clearance on the back lawn after lunch and then starting work. An early morning email about a rather scarce county species saw me change plans and head off on a search. A couple of hours later I had drawn a blank, though the habitat at the location looked pretty sexy for the species in question so another trip may be in order. Sorry about the secrecy but it's schedule 1, in a sensitive location and one of those species where you just know some will turn up with the stereo blasting!
I spent a good while just hanging about, a couple of Bullfinch flew silently from Honeysuckle nearby and a Jay dipped over a barn roof. Young Great Tits, Long-tailed Tits and Chiffchaffs were seemingly everywhere and the local Common Whitethroats decided I was worth a closer inspection providing an opportunity to unpack the lens...
The latter individual was at a different site on the way home after I reverted to Quail-listening at a site that has held them before, though the increasing wind and a man with one ear aren't really the best combination for finding Quail.