Here I go again....
With some business dealt with in Lancaster by 12.30pm but a return there needed at 2.30pm, the obvious thing for me to do was to take a couple of hours to look in on Aldcliffe. The plan was to park up at Keyline, walk along the path to Freeman's Pools up to Marsh Point, along the embankment, check the flood, and return via the path again. Always a potential with a plan like this and off I jolly-well went.
I began to make my notes having heard a Blackcap and Chiffchaff both singing, a Song Thrush always a nice bird to see, and at Marsh Point a Whitethroat, male Reed Bunting, a Dunnock, and a distant Common Sandpiper along the edge of one of the smaller pools.
So I'm at Marsh Point now and I turn south to do the embankment trundle - a nice little Whinchat off here would have been nice. But never mind that, I've just put my bino's on my nose end to take a good look into the stubble field and the hedgerow running along the edge of it, and, the expletives were much more offensive than Bloody Hell I assure you....
Woodchat Shrike. Jo Bradley.
Cos I'm now looking at a stunning little male Woodchat Shrike sat atop a bush just waiting to be spotted and my passion for the birds has gone through the roof once again.
Ruff. Dan Haywood.
I would very much liked to have seen this Ruff on the flood, but I never did carry out my plan to the full due to my gloating at the shrike, though not gloating long enough I might add....curses upon the other things in life which so often interfere with my birding.
Thanks to Jo and Dan for the excellent images, they are much appreciated.