After a week of hard slog trying to find birds and avoid seeing birds found by anyone else I was rather flat and needed to see something good. My choices were head for the Lincolnshire coast and search through mile after mile of Sea Buckthorn or pick up my mate Neil and go for an easy tick on Staines Moor in Middlesex, near London Airport.
The easy tick won as it wasn’t more than two hours from home and I, like Skev, just love Shrikes. Shrikes are my favourite bird family and short of finding my own (Great Grey and Red-backed only in Britain) I love to go and see Shrikes. The fact that a 1W Brown Shrike had taken up residence just outside of Heathrow Airport and had thankfully stayed to Saturday at least meant that we had a stress-free trip down the M40 and were soon enjoying great if distant views of the bird. The birders on site seemed strangely familiar – yes just about evryone who fled Scilly on Saturday was present yesterday morning. Two of the Widerscope funsters, Nick ‘Chelsea Boy’ Bond and Seth ‘The Grubster’ Gibson tried to tell us the bird hadn’t been seen since a Sparrowhawk went through but we weren’t buying that old nonsense. Anyway Nick the same could be said of Chelsea’s defence on Saturday!
Another year tick was Franko Mareovic who kept everyone on the bird and who gave us directions to a decent little garden centre cafe for a coffee and bacon butties.
I do have some very instructive photos of the Brown Shrike that I will post later tonight hopefully… along with a dump from Scilly!