Saturday, 31 December 2011

Not much of a birdy Christmas period I have to say, but I have managed to get out a few times. Managed to dip on the lesser white fronted goose in the Broads but the fact that it was blowing a gale and the birds were keeping low in the vegetation didn't help. Having said that, it was good to get decent views of the taiga bean geese to compare to the tundras I have seen recently and there was at least 170 white fronts about. Ended to day with the starling roost (40,000+) at Strumpshaw.
Ringing sessions have been busy although we are not getting many new birds now. Two sessions over the last week have produced over 150 re-traps but only 28 new birds! The highlight of yesterday's session was 8 re-trap bullfinches.
Finally go round to looking for the possible homeryi great grey shrike near Morrisons this morning. A cracking little bird showing pretty well. With my limited knowledge, the bird looks to have all the necessary features quoted in the Shrikes book. In flight it showed a large amount of white in the tail and wing and when it was perched you could see the pale uppertail coverts, pale scapulars and large wing patch. The eye mask appeared narrower and the was a small pale supercillium above the eye mask and over the bill. The underparts looked warm at times although the light wasn't great.
poss homeryi great grey shrike (top 5) compared to a nominate bird (bottom 1) I saw just before Christmas. You can see the larger whire wing patch and pale uppertail coverts.
Despite the bird showing well and there being plenty of room, this twat still decided that he would move closer and stand right in front of me! Reminded me why I can't be arsed with twitching these days.

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