After parking the car we took a rather circuitous route to the location where the bird is supposed to frequent. Having lugged all my gear, there was no sign of the bird. Nonetheless en route we did hear / see Nuthatch, Marsh Tit, several Green Woodpeckers and a nice flock of Lesser Redpolls (didn't see any Mealys amongst them). And this rather fetching looking fungi........no idea what it is, answers on a postcard please!
|Mystery fungi - ID suggestions welcome please!|
We tracked back the way we had come and when Nick stopped to scan a distant fence-line, lo and behold, there was the shrike sitting atop a far-away bush. So as it turns out if we had, at the beginning of our trek, turned left rather than right we might have found the bird within the first fifteen minutes. Anyway, while we watched the shrike I heard a bird call twice from the adjacent woods that to me immediately sounded like Pallas's Warbler. I am aware that another birder mentioned on his blog that he was pretty sure he heard a Hume's Warbler calling from the woods while he was out looking for the shrike. I heard the call once more about ten minutes later, this time a little further away. Unfortunately though whatever was calling never showed but on listening to recordings of both Hume's and Pallas's on my iphone afterwards and xeno-canto later at home as well as recordings on The Sound Approach, I think the calls were either one of the two leaf warblers rather than an unusual Coal Tit call.
Anyway back to the shrike, we headed further along the path towards the bird, I took a few distant heavily cropped record shots but unfortunately that was as good as it got as regards photographs. Having walked a little further we couldn't relocate the bird so decided to call it a day and return to the car.
|Grainy, heavily cropped and distant record shot of the Grime's Graves GGS|