Saturday, 9 September 2017

Chipping Sodbury - Woodchat Shrike

It's been a long time, a twitch that is... An overnight stay after a talk  in Chippenham acted as the perfect foil for a journey I would probably not have bothered with from home! A juvenile Woodchat Shrike was on the cards, or should I say the 'Common' in nearby Chipping Sodbury. I'd only seen adult Woodchats before, so it was in a sense 'new' :-)

There was quite a lot going on with quite a few migrants moving, like Whinchat...

Yellow wagtail..

And Redstart...

Almost immediately after a walk of some 400m from the car, I could see birders and the Woodchat Shrike :-)

Anything from 50 - 150m distant, it was quite mobile but quite a showy bird (as Shrikes are!) always perching up on a good choice of bushes...

After a while, I could see a pattern forming and staked out a small clump of bushes which gave an element of cover!

It was coming nearer!

Until eventually, it was perched head on, probably about 30m away, close enough to see a bit more detail!

One brief perch in an adjacent bush ensuring all the angles were covered!

The pale scapulars showing really well, even from afar, somewhat scaly and nothing like a Red-backed juv!

And then the heavens opened! The forecast of heavy showers and thunder didn't exactly sound welcome, so it was an early finish at around 12.30, job done!