Saturday, May 31, 2008

Red-backed Shrike at long last !

Buckton continued to produce the goods, but with a hell of a lot of effort ! May 28th produced a female Red-backed Shrike, a bird that I have had to wait a long time to get on my Buckton list. One spent two days here in September 2004, but I was off chasing a Cream-coloured Courser on the Scillies, before that there are records in 1975, 1977 and 1984 ! It was extremely elusive and may have been present since last Sunday when I glimpsed what was almost certainly a female RBS at point blank range before it vanished almost serpent like into the middle of a bush and didn't come out again. Either way it didn't matter as Steve pulled it out of the bag and the wait was over. It was again mega elusive and never came near the nets. Spotted Flycatchers peaked with four on May 28th Other birds over the last few days included my first ever Buckton Hobby on May 29th when raptors were also represented by Peregrine, Merlin, Common Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk!

A bit of birding on Flamborough produced a Marsh Warbler, Common Rosefinch (photograph above), Turtle Dove, Tree Pipit, Crossbill and another Red-backed Shrike (photograph above). Very frustratingly I had a reeling locustella which made me stop dead in my tracks down Old Fall Hedge but despite gathering a few observers together it didn't sing again and could easily have been a Savi's Warbler. Overall a very enjoyable few days, three new Buckton birds, a ringing tick and the spectacle of scarce eastern drift migrants in song.

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