Tuesday 9 April 2019

Great Grey Shrike and Gropper - pm edit

Emsworthy Mire - the Great Grey Shrike was singing from the bushes in the above photo - a very strange mix of repeated phrases. Some reminded me of a Dunlin call, while other phrases were more 'rippling' - much higher-pitched than expected and can't be described as pleasing to the ear. Still, a very welcome new experience for me.
I did a breeding bird survey first thing and then headed up to Dartmoor for the Great Grey Shrike. I very rarely twitch but this bird proved irresistible. The last one I saw was a bird I found up on Woodbury Common back in November 2016, and I never got great views of it.
This individual was far more obliging than I was expecting. The birds that turn up on the pebbled heaths are usually an absolute nightmare to pin down and keep track of. Emsworthy Mire is a beautiful spot and well worth a visit. Thank you Mark for the info.
I didn't get up to Orcombe until late morning. The highlight was a reeling Grasshopper Warbler in thick bramble bordering the Bristol Schools field (still present and reeling for long periods this evening - about 20yds from where it was this morning). Otherwise just 4 Willow Warbler (a marked decrease), 6 Meadow Pipits and 3 White Wagtails made it in to the notebook.
Off the seafront - 14 Sandwich Tern, 3 Great Crested Grebe and 1 fs Mediterranean Gull.

Hastily-scribbled field sketches - I'm determined to do a bit more sketching. GGS is one of the easier species to do I suppose but I'm still not close to doing it justice.

This male Redstart was singing its heart out from trees right beside the red barn. I'd forgotten how lovely a song it is.

Three White Wagtails were on Orcombe this morning. Unapproachable so rubbish photos.

Dawn - my survey site in east Devon.

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