Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of my readers (both of you).

Here’s another shot of the shrike from yesterday in slightly better light.

Great Grey Shrike

A good walk spoiled?

With the weather looking good, possibly for the last day before Christmas, I took one of my remaining days off with the intention of a 20+ mile walk around the Cissbury and Chanctonbury Rings. 

My only concession to birding at Cissbury Ring was to walk at high speed around the perimeter checking the bushes for a Great Grey Shrike (there was one for a day a couple of weeks ago – surely long gone – but I’ve always fancied that there should be one up there one winter).  My plans were thrown into disarray when I actually found one.  It played the usual Shrike game of hide and seek , but ended up showing beautifully: what a shame I only had my compact camera, but it was meant to be a long walk.

The hour spent there meant that plans had to be changed, and the day turned into a shorter walk, returning to Cissbury in the afternoon, to meet up with Karen and my SLR.  The light was now awful and the bird utterly uncooperative, but it finally deigned to sit around for a couple of pictures.

(It ended up at 16.5 miles)

A short peregrination

I wasn’t up to much today, having just got back from a week working in Japan.

A short walk over to the reedbed just east of us failed to produce the hoped-for Jack Snipe, but 6 Snipes and a Woodcock were good, and this Peregrine flew into a pylon above us.