At this rate I'll be going back to work next week for a rest! Let me explain.
Wednesday 7th September.
Not much change at the Quarry in Uttoxeter. Spotted Redshank still around, plus a patch mega, in the form of a Coal Tit!
Over to my dad's in Burton for the evening, so before that I checked Branston Gravel Pits. Highlights here included 3 Little Egrets, 5 Green Sandpipers, 12 Curlew, 2 Dunlin, 1 Snipe, 72 Teal, 6 Shoveler.
A nice relaxing evening was interrupted by the news of a probable Woodchat Shrike at Whitemoor Haye. What!!! I can get over there in a few minutes, so I did. And this is what I saw:
Unfortunately, the only place I saw this was from the screen of Stuart the Alrewas Birder's mobile phone, ticking by proxy isn't allowed! To help out with clinching what kind of Shrike it was, I offered to get a field guide out of the car. The bird was seen for the last time whilst retrieving the book, then off into a bush by the time I got back. I literally missed the bird by seconds!
It did look like the Shrike had gone into a bush to roost for the night. However, after arriving at first light this morning (Thursday 9th September), no sign of it all morning. It would be nice to think it's very good at hiding, but I did wait until the weather had warmed up in the hope that increased insect activity may get the Shrike moving. But no, no sign. Best birds around were a Hobby and a Whinchat (that's Whinchat, NOT Woodchat!).
Right, I'm off for a session of birding therapy with Dr Derek Pechora. Only joking, that's just the way it goes sometimes. In any case a fantastic find for Stuart. And if I was at home last night like usual, there's no way I would've been able to get over in time.