Abbey Meadows

Abbey Meadows

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Find one for yourself!

First sighting................
A bit closer..............

As close as I could get but losing the sharpness



Cropped but blurry...A lovely bird and the highlight for me this year



Still some snow lying around in some places



I intended to take the dog to Harwood forest this morning but hearing news of a Great grey shrike south west of Alnwick I was tempted to go there instead. These are wonderful birds but I do see them almost anually so I decided to head for a spot in Harwood which has always looked good for them. Having decided to try and find one myself I knew I wouldn't see one but I might see something else or nowt at all.

It's a bit of a trek to this part of the forest but when I reached the area I first looked north west towards the masts but I was surprised at the amount of snow lying about in some areas. When I looked towards Redpath farm I could see something white on top of a young conifer and I knew straight away what it was. I walked back towards the village for a quarter of a mile to get a bit closer. It looked fantastic through the scope in the cold winter sunshine but the nearest I could get was probably about 300 yards away so I couldn't get a decent photo. The above was the best I could do. This is my second self found Great grey; the first one was at Stobswood on 27th December 1975!

As there was no reception here for my mobile I had to go to the gibbet before I could put the news out. Here I met Brian from Northumbrian birding blog. We watched a Goshawk and a Peregrine from here and he went into the forest to see the shrike. I hope he saw it and got some better pics than mine. ADMc was also going for it but the weather was beginning to deteoriate.

13 comments:

Blyth Birder said...

Good effort AM, wondered who it was who reported it.

Beats the one seen by me today :)

Kingsdowner said...

Oh the joy of finding your own rarity....well done indeed!

Alan Tilmouth said...

Cracking Nigel,I was green with envy when I saw this tonight after having been up there yesterday. Reality though I don't think I could take the kids that far in. Great find.

Stewart said...

Get in there Nigel. I've found two too, one on Holy Island and the other at Druridge. I dream of finding a nice forest bird like yours....

abbey meadows said...

Thanks all it certainly puts a spring in your step. I just wish I could have crept up a bit closer but I didn't want to scare it away as it might have been difficult to relocate.

mosstrooper said...

Always nice to be the finder, i wonder how many GG Shrikes go unseen in these great forests in Winter.

Newton Stringer said...

SUPERB FIND !! Aren't shrikes BRILLIANT !!!

Newton Stringer said...

Oh... and at the risk of sounding like right nobhead in the "who's found the most great grey shrikes competition"...... I've found 5 !!

Mmmmm.....I'll get my coat.....

Seriously tho... when you first clap eyes on them they don't half get the pulse racing....I bet you were doing a little dance when you saw that !.... A TOP FIND !!

Northumbrian Birding said...

AM
Yes thanks for the info, I did refind it but it took some time as it had moved well over, unable to get anywhere near it,sunny spells but heavy snow ended the day.
Brian

abbey meadows said...

Thanks for all the comments...I think it's the most I have had. Alan I don't know how old the children are but I have had mine on top of Cheviot from age of 4 and climbing Munroes at 7. Foolhardy? no its amazing how fit and how much energy kids have. NS a bit long in the tooth for dancing but the pulse was certainly racing...shrikes are the best. M I think these birds may be frozen out of forests further west such as Kielder. A pity someone hasn't got some better pics but if it lingers I'l go back. Not off until next week now.

st said...

I wish i hads seen this, this morning. Great bird.

foggy said...

well found big bro

Mary said...

It's so rewarding to find a bird you really want to see!