Thursday, 16 January 2014


                 At Ice Station Draycote earlier in the week a couple of birders reminded me that a Great Grey Shrike had been present in the fields along Redditch Road not far from the Hopwood Park services on the M42.So on Thursday morning I thought I'd go over there to try my luck.

I made a couple of mistakes early on in the trip.The first was deciding to go there on the country route rather than the motorway because in Wood End I came across three-way traffic lights at some road works.The trouble was they had broken down showing red on all three roads.It took a brave white van driver to chance his arm and go through the red light before any of us wimps would do the same.

The second mistake was parking up as told by a lay-bye and searching the field next to it.It took me an hour of wasted time to realise that there were two lay-byes and I was of course at the wrong one.It took me that long to spot a couple of birders about 500m further up the road.When I got there one of them was a good friend Pete Walkden who I hadn't seen for ages.

Pete had got some great shots of the GGS previously and it was him that spotted it this morning.That's where the good news ended because it was a hell of a long way off and never got any closer in the 90 mins I waited.This shot shows how far off it was bearing in mind that this is through my 400 lens.

Here are a couple of shots heavily cropped.Pretty grim Eh !!!

Here are a couple of shots I took earlier.November 2010 at Napton as it happens where the bird there was much more sociable.

I must have another go and hope it comes closer although the locals think it now favours the distant field.

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