Thursday, 9 October 2014

A Steppe in the right direction

The Steppe Grey Shrike which had been present at Burnham Norton since sunday was reported as still showing this morning (tuesday) so I decided to have an hour off the paperwork, go for a walk and hopefully see this first for Norfolk.

I arrived at Norton and to my surprise found somewhere to park in the small car park. I guess most of the heavies had already been and given it was a weekday things were a little quieter. The walk at Norton is really good with a seawall to walk along or through the middle of the reserve - this is where the bird was. So a twenty minute walk and I arrived at a small group of people to be told that it had been showing quite well but now had disappeared behind more distant bushes. There was however this Kestrel on the fence line that the Shrike had been using.
I was aware of a fair bit of abuse being levelled at this Kestrel and this was the reason the Shrike had moved further back. Then up it popped, quite some way off. I was invited to use someone's scope and  had reasonable views. The decision, to stay an extra ten minutes or bail out and get back to the paperwork ? I stayed, and watched the Shrike make it's way methodically along the bush line, but getting further away all the time. The Kestrel moved down opening up the area the Shrike had previously been in, and not surprisingly the Shrike flew back to the near fences allowing for some pictures to be had - a couple below, the low light levels showing off the birds light peachy wash to the underparts:

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