Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Monday, 22 August 2011

Woodchat Shrike Chipping Sodbury Common - 20th August 2011

A long staying juvenile female Woodchat Shrike has been reported at Chipping Sodbury Common for several weeks. Having dipped on the Brandon bird, I was keen to get this life tick, so on 18th August, after apalling weather all day, I found the common and set off to locate the Shrike. Directions on RBA were poor and misleading and I spent over an hour searching the wrong area. Seeing some distant birders, I headed in their direction. They had better directions as they were locals but the light was fading with more rain arriving, we were on to a loser. Another dip! As consolation, at least fifteen male & female Redstarts flitted through the hedgerows.

I had to go back! I negotiated Saturday morning to drop Heather off in Bath for retail therapy and with time out for good behaviour, I headed back to the common. Luckily, three birders had the bird in their scopes and it remained distant and mobile. It was now in my scope and my life tick was in the bag! I was soon left alone in the field that was mainly thistle and cow poo, and I watched as the Shrike navigated the distant hedgerows. Eventually it settled, and I was able to get within reasonable distance to obtain the images I offer below.

Again, supporting birds included male & female Redstarts, Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat. After a couple of hours, the rain returned so I headed into Bath, really chuffed!