Masked Shrike. Colin Bushell.
But first....one of Colin Bushell's Lesvos 2010 exotica in the form of the smart Masked Shrike.
Not the best of my three options for today but the other two I didn't fancy doing on account of my distrust in the weather which turned out to be a false distrust as it kept nice and sunny. Anyway 'ordinary' birding can often become extraordinary though it didn't today....but that's birding. So I found myself checking the 'gull's' on the River Lune behind Sainsburys before heading off to check everything else on the calorie burning trek to Glasson Dock in the hope perhaps a Wryneck would jump out at me along the way....but didn't.
A quick look over Freeman's Pools showed it to be a lake rather than a pool now so it'll be a surprise if any of the 'parishioners' find any waders on there for a while. Two Wheatear were seen along the embankment and the only 'geese' on the marsh were c.75 Canada and 6 Greylag. Between Aldcliffe and Conder Green I noted a Raven over the golf course with a Brown Hare on there, 8 Goldfinch, a Kestrel, 4 Red Admiral, and 6 Speckled Wood....this is desperate stuff you know!
At Conder Green a less than serious circuit produced 2 Ruff, a Greenshank, and another Wheatear. Conder Pool is also in ruins now resembling a lake with no edges but 9 Little Grebe was another increase in their number and three short of last years peak of twelve, interestingly the count has gone back up to 4 Wigeon on here for the first time since 2 July.
Black-eared Wheatear. Colin Bushell.
Exotica number two from Lesvos is the Black-eared Wheatear. Thanks for these Colin, much appreciated.... I'll be looking out for the Peruvian flag!!
By the way....The Masked Shrike - Eastern Mediterranean east to Iran and winters in sub-Saharan Africa - was one of six species of birds which were removed from the British List in 1962 in connection with the 'Hastings Rarities Affair'. Since one was shot at Woodchurch in Kent in 1905 there have been just two records of this extremely rare vagrant the last of which was at St Marys on the Scillies on 1 November 2006.