Saturday, 24 October 2015

Shrike stroll

A day of seasonal contrasts. Summer was represented by a rather surprising suite of plants that are still in flower - and not just the odd one or two! Nottingham Catchfly, Sheep's-bit, Moth Mullein, Thrift, Ragged Robin and Sea Campion are all to be readily found in bloom. To be crunching across the shingle in late October with so much colour at your feet is surely unusual.

Winter came courtesy of female Goldeneye and Goosander on the RSPB's Burrowes pit. The cold fingers of winter have started to take a hold...

This afternoon saw me take an unusual route to Hooker's Pit, by walking from the observatory, via the public footpath that runs between Burrowes and New Diggings. After almost 40 years of visiting here, this is the first time that I have walked this path across the pits. The reason for doing so? A fine Great Grey Shrike, that played hard to get but finally gave itself up on top of the bushes at the back of Hooker's. It happily fed on dragonflies and looked quite settled. There have now been three sightings of this species on the peninsula this week, possibly all of the same bird, but there have been so many around that I wouldn't bet on it.

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