A trip "out of county" and into Staffordshire this morning in search of a few year ticks. Cannock Chace was my first stop, hoping to get views of a Great Grey Shrike near Upper Longdon. I was not to be disappointed, quickly finding the bird, but today it chose to stay out of camera range, resulting in a few "record images"! I sat for a couple of hours in hope of a close up, enjoying two Woodlarks singing above me, but the Shrike was determined to tease me, before eventually being mobbed by Goldfinches and disappearing out of sight completely.
Great Grey Shrike
Moving on, I somehow managed to navigate my way to the Fishing Lodge at Blithfield Reservoir - somewhere I have not been before. My aim was the Black Redstart. A birder gave me the "good" news of "showing well on the dam fifteen minutes ago"! However, despite a thorough search, I could not relocate it, so went back to the car for a coffee. This was a lucky move, as a small bird caught my eye, flitting around in the bushes just behind the carpark. Bins on it and YES Black Redstart!. Again, despite a couple of hours waiting, the Redstart did not come very close and eventually "just disappeared"!
An enjoyable morning with three year ticks in new territory.