Wednesday, 8 September 2010

8-9-10, Whitemoor Haye.

Before you read anymore of this post please scroll down and read the second paragraph from the post on 5-9-10 titled news, about finding a special bird.

Have you read it.

Fresh in your mind.

Ok I will continue.

I walked the dogs with a mate of mine straight after work. it was a nice early evening and there was a fair few birds around so I went home, dropped the dogs off and fed them, then headed straight out to Whitemoor to check out the quarry pool for Black Terns. Birds noted here were Carrion Crow, Robin, Mute Swan, Pied Wagtail, Swallow, Magpie, Great Crested Grebe, Mallard, Wren, Tufted Duck, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Kestrel, Wood Pigeon and Goldfinch. Nothing special here. I noticed lots of gulls in a nearby filled and went to have a look at them but as I got closer they flew into the next field by the entrance to the rough track. I decided to stretch my groin ligaments and go and have a look. Why? I dont know. I am not the biggest fan of gulls but something made me go and have a scan. I found a gap a
nd was scanning the gulls. I noticed they were all Lesser Black-backed Gulls including juveniles as well as adults. there was nothing else so I slung my scope over my shoulder. As I did I noticed something on a wooden post. I didnt think it was a bird, proberbly a seeding flower head but I had a look through the scope anyway. you never know do you! There sitting on the post was what I thought was a Spotted Flycatcher at a very quick glance but I noticed something. I looked again. A shike. It was a bloody shrike. Well I thought it was a shrike. I got on the phone to the Blurred Birder to ask him. A few expletives later and he made some phone calls to some local birders he knew. I definately needed help on this one. as soon as I put the phone down the bird flew off. Aaaaaaarrrrrgh what do I do? I started hunting for it and found it ten minutes later. then a chap who maretin had got hold of turned up and I got him straightonto the bird. he took one look at it and said Woodchat Shrike. Nice. but as he looked at it he then thought Red-backed Shrike. I had already put out probable juvenile Woodchat Shrike out on the pager so I changed it to possible. I didn't knowwhat it was but one feature that was annoying this chap was the white panel on the wings. Only Woodchat Shrike had this. Mmmmmm. then another birder turned up, Eric Clare. He wasn't to sure. Phone calls were made, I took some rubbish photos on my camera but the ID was still not known. It was now starting to get dark and Richard from Local Birding turned up but the bird never showed, gone to roost. Another couple of birders turned up, well known too but not by me. They took a look at the photos on the phone and said it was a definate juvenile Woodchat Shrike. Wow wee. Remember the September 5th post about finding special birds. It had come true. then I was told if accepted this would be a Stafdfordshire first. get in there. What a bird for a) Whitemoor Haye, b) Staffordhsire and c) little old crappy me. COME ON. I will be at Whitemoor at sunrise tomorrow to find it again hopefully. Might see some of you down there.

These are the images I managed to capture of the Woodchat Shrike at Whitemoor. I didn't go armed with a camera and my 2 megapixel camera was the only thing I had to hand. Better than nothing though. Enjoy.

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