Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Sussex June 1st 2008

I have just got back from my Sussex two site trip. Just before I left home for Pulborough I got a call from a friend saying he was watching the Red-backed Shrike near to Pulborough Brooks. I couldn't stand the thought of him having it and me missing it so I looked it up on Bird News Anywhere but couldn't find enough details to get it into the sat-nav, so I decided to go after Pulborough, when I may know more about it.
On arrival at Pulborough Brooks I had a quick look at the feeders and managed to see a Nuthatch of note as well as the usual garden birds. Interesting birds started right at the begginning of the trail when my friend that I was on the phone to earlier about the Shrike pointed out a Wren's nest. He wanted to get some shots of the parents as they went in so we waited there for quite a while. In between visits by the parents, parent and juvenile Linnets and Pied Wagtails entertained us.
Soon, we started to go down the trail. Not too far down the trail I spotted a Nightingale hop out onto a fence post, I managed to get my binoculars on it for about a second before it went into a bush. I heard several Blackcaps and a possible Garden Warbler or two in this area. We heard a Nightingale sing in a nearby bush, it was very close. Eventually I managed to locate it, but could only see its breast really. It was fantastic just to hear it, though, and for so long; not to mention at such close range.
We headed off for the viewpoint to see the Spoonbill that had been reported. We watched it for 20 minutes or so. It was feeding and flew a couple of times briefly because a female Mallard with 9 ducklings didn't take a liking to it, eventually, it got fed up and flew towards the other pool in front of the hide, out of view.

Above: Spoonbill

We headed back to the visitor centre to get the fledging Garden Warblers that someone had seen there, but no joy. There was a Pheasant and a few Whitethroat, though.
Another quick look at the Wren and a glance at the feeders and we were off for the Shrike. My friend led us to where it was and we arrived on site not too long after we left Pulborough.

Above: Wren

We walked over the bridge and after a quick scan of the fence posts, we picked it up, sitting on the wire! Lucky me, my friend said he had to wait 1 1/2 hours to see it before. We enjoyed fantastic views of the beautiful Red-backed Shrike for an hour. It hunted, sang and even reguritated a pellet. It was a stunning bird and a lifer for me. A great end to another great day.

Above: Red-backed Shrike


Josh Jenkins Shaw said...

Well done with all those birds Dave! Great Photos too! I saw a Spoonbill in Cornwall last year but haven't seen one since. Nice one!

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Parus said...

Red-backed Shrike! Nice bird!!
I'd love to see one of those!!!! That would be an ABA code 5 bird here though.