After spending days eating and drinking I reckon a lot of birders were looking to get out and see some birds today and maybe stake out a few sites for starting the year list on 1 January 2012. I know I was ready for some fresh air and so was Leigh and today we had a mission… find Leigh a LEO.
Leigh’s brother Matthew was also ready for a day out so we picked him up just after 08.00 and headed in to Staffordshire. Our first stop was the Great Grey Shrike at Upper Longdon on the edge of Cannock Chase. We could see the bird as we pulled up perched on a tall snag on one of the few un-felled Pines (probably because it was a dead Pine). Not a tame bird this one so it was digiscoping all the way… sorry.
With not much else to be seen we headed off to a site in Staffordshire known for roosting Long-eared Owl. A good hour and a half search had revealed a few pellets… looks like they are mostly feeding on Shrews but no Owls. We decided to give up and head home as the news wasn’t good from my local contact. As we approached the car park we me another birder who said if we gave him 10 minutes he’d find us a bird. He was almost as good as his word as he took us to another spot in the wood but this time Matt was first to pick up a bird high in the canopy. Sadly it was pretty obscured and bloody high. This video was the best I could manage.
There is a LEO there honest. With now bursting bladders we headed back to the car for a sprint to the nearest loos near Uttoxeter and then home… Leigh was happy with her lifer!