Standing in snow on a wild, exposed footpath looking into a blizzard is not the way most people would celebrate their birthday! However, the opportunity to touch base with a Great Grey Shrike, my first in Warwickshire, could not be missed. I arrived at the Grandborough footpath to find several cars already parked and a number of birders (Richard M, Colin P & Dave C) on their way back having seen the Shrike (plus Merlin and Barn Owl which eluded me). Deciding to leave my camera in the car due to the conditions (always a mistake!) and a brisk walk for about three hundred yards had me in the right spot, meeting Jeff W and later Bob D. The Shrike was soon located on the wires but (sensibly?) disappeared during snow flurries. What a super bird! Entertainment was also provided by flocks of Linnet, which must have numbered 400+. Only raptor seen was a Sparrowhawk. Unfortunately, the Shrike took flight over the set-aside field in the direction of Hill Road at about 1045. Hopefully it will return.
Messages from RBA are indicating the Shrike is back (though distant - it was hardly close this morning!) this afternoon.