Friday, 18 March 2011

GG Shrike & Migration at Hutton Roof 18th March 2011

0900 - 1030hrs.
Today I watched the Great Grey Shrike for almost 90 minutes. During this time it visited several trees, all within the Dalton deforested area (rotting woodpiles), and was witnessed sentinel to all trees.

The first sighting was in the small group of about half a dozen trees which lies about 50 yards from the gate/boundary wall which goes into the Common where the Trig is situated and lies immediately to the side of the main pathway (see top sketch).

But for 80% of the time I witnessed it, it was in its "favourite" tree (see bottom sketch). I did see it swoop down on prey and return to its tree with the prey within its bill where it continued to digested the prey. It looked like a large beetle or bee or something like that.
Also whilst up there, I had some birds on a South to North direction migration eg: about 30 Meadow Pipits, mainly in singles or pairs. Also had a couple of Chaffinch, One Alba Wagtail, One Linnet. Had about 3 pairs of Siskin which some where dropping into Dalton to Feed. Also One Curlew heading to the South East.
Other records: One mail Stonechat seen in beatiful breeding plumage and heard regularly "chakking". Probably the same I had yesterday. Also Raven. Also had Green Woodpecker on way up at Bottom of Dalton.
Skylarks calls where half hearted today and the migration was less that this time yesterday, although the weather was blue skies, little wind.