Whenever Jim's away - good birds come to play (in Shropshire)! My Saturday alpine show in Exeter meant that I had 'missed' a showy Great Grey Shrike and a stunner of a drake Ring-necked Duck.
To cut a long story short the day started early with the Ring-necked Duck a little cracker - still across the road from the usual dire place but another bloody dog walker (everything was duly flushed!) ensured there was no point in returning to the car for camera gear.
I was in a rush to get to church anyway - well it was Sunday! Hopesay church to be precise and a little stroll up to the Burrow Hill Fort. A mere 'pimple' in the scheme of high places to climb and given the angst this site has caused, it's given me an idea (check back later for a course I plan to run)
Anyway - all the gym work has paid off and after jogging with kit up to the hill fort summit, here's a flavour of the Shikey scene. Like a very large tree laden Bury Ditches!
I'd bumped into Martin and Ian Grant (who hasd already put some time in!), Ian had to dash off to work so I teamed up with Martin and eventually after an hour or so - things were distinctly looking up!
Closer shots proved possible and here seen from every angle. Whilst this wasn't exactly a 'confiding' bird - it sure put the Whixall / Fenns Moss bird to shame!
My favourite! The background of the hill merging with sky seem to compliment the plumage colours of the Shrike....
Even jammed onto a take off and flight shot - just a shame about the white sky!
The day wasn't over either as Greenshank and Green Sandpiper were to be added to the Shropshire yearlist in the Allscot area!