Monday, May 30, 2016

Injury-time Shrike


Truth be told it's been hard work here on the patch this spring, with very few windows of opportunity for anything a bit tastier to make it through, and no good fortune to speak of (despite being out pretty much every day). But when the forecasts for the last few days of the week spoke of an easterly airflow with accompanying messy weather set to kick in just as I'd submitted my last major assignment for this year's degree module, the decks were duly cleared.

The initial (and potentially only) view....
 
Out for dawn on 26th in fog, drizzle and a light easterly and hopes were high; nine hours in the field and virtually no new migrants later, a little less so. But with Icterine Warblers and Red-backed Shrikes turning up along the coast, one or the other had to be out there somewhere; another dawn circuit and another full day later, and the 27th proved otherwise...

...... but then close enough to ID comfortably.....
 
With guests arriving and other priorities taking over in the afternoon, the morning of 28th was a last throw of the die; and thankfully, finally, a reward, with an initially distant shrike-like shape (how many of those have I checked over the last few days?) morphing satisfyingly into a smart female Red-backed. Hardly earth-shattering, but a hard-fought and very welcome find that made the effort worthwhile.

.... and then enjoy properly at closer quarters. All's well that ends well.