Sunday, October 31, 2010

Shrikes and NZ Scaups!

Great Grey Shrike Record Shot
Upon leaving the boat this morning I was greeted with an array of some fifty Fieldfare passing overhead, two Yellowhammer’s perched on the phone wires, numerous Chaffinch, several Skylarks and at least nine Pied Wagtails still hanging around from our overnight roost!

A quick conversation with a fellow moorer on the way to the car also revealed that I’d missed 7 Waxwings while I was away last week, the birds were reported perched on the adjacent hawthorn by several other moorers on Tuesday, damn!

As planned I made my way to Brandon Marsh to catch up on the news and also to attend a meeting I had arranged for mid morning. Arriving later than normal and taking full advantage of my extra hour in bed I arrived around 9am and made my way straight to big hide. Plenty of Fieldfare, Redwing, Lesser Redpoll and Siskin around, plus a nice male Goldeneye on East Marsh Pool.

However, I was also interested in the reported New Zealand Scaup (escape), which had been posted on Jeff Weeson’s website by Gary Hobbs on Saturday. When I got word of the bird showing on West Marsh I made my way across with a few of the conservation team to check it out. The bird in question was showing well from the Steetley Hide and after the subsequent discussion that took place with Alban, Ade and Derek we left the final identification in the capable hands of Alban Wincott. The consensus is indeed a NZ Scaup and well done to Gary for the initial identification, which was spot on.

NZ Scaup Record Shot ( A Wincott)
My day got even better when I had information come through of a Great Grey Shrike showing at Napton, my local patch, another great find by Richard and Colin I’m led to believe!

Unfortunately my meeting did not allow for a quick getaway but I’m delighted to say that thanks to Jeff Wesson, who’d hung around the locality waiting for me, I managed some good views of the bird on Brickyard Road perched atop telephone cables. The picture top-left is Jeff’s record shot.

Now the question is, is this last years wintering Grandborough bird? As I departed for home it did appear that the bird was heading in that general direction!!