One impact of my, sometimes, obsessive twitching in the recent past was my neglect of my VC55 County list. Something I have come to regret, for a while I tried to pretend my Yorkshire list was more important well over 10 years after I left my homeland. I suppose I still do twitch on a regular basis and even had to twitch back from Cornwall the other day after twitching the American Bittern to add Grey Phalarope to my County list.
So after making a point of moving up the County listing rankings there are a few birds I now regret not chasing. The Shrikes are my favourite bird family, there’s just something about the ‘Butcher Birds’ that turns me on. Their feeding habits are marvellous if a little gruesome but over all, even in juvenile plumage I think they are stunning and Great Grey Shrike is just the best. I really do wish I’d made the effort to go for the Oakham bird but I wasn’t driving then and I was just too lazy. I did try for the 1998 Eyebrook Red-backed Shrike but I dipped it.
So where’s all this going? Well reviewing Great Grey Shrike in the avifauna – if you don’t have it by now, why not – I notice that historically most birds have been seen in the Charnwood Forest and Soar Valley areas. I fancy one on Barber’s Rough at Cossington Meadows but I reckon it’s too disturbed down there. So, how can I add Great Grey Shrike to my County list? Well I can wait for someone else to find one and twitch or I can get out there and find my own.
Therefore I’m going to give as many suitable areas as I can a thorough searching, as often as possible until I find one. There are at least three in the Peak District including a possible homeyeri and another two (or is it just one) regular birds in Nottinghamshire. There must be one out there somewhere and I’m determined to find it.