Last weekend whilst looking for Goshawks with Steve we took a quick trip to Harwood Forest and were talking about wintering Shrikes in Northumberland and said there has to be one hiding in Harwood somewhere.
After seeing there were two separate birds reported this week, I felt even worse, knowing that I couldn’t get out at the weekend.
I found out that Holywell Birder was free on Friday afternoon, same as me so we planned to look for both Shrikes to give our selves a better chance, so at 1 we left for Black Lough.
We didn’t know exactly where the Lough was so we just walked up the hillside and found it next to a plantation.
We met another birder along the way whose name I still don’t know, (sorry) and searched the area around the Lough.
After walking around a bit further we found the boulders where it had been reported.
HB then found it on the horizon standing on some tall grass; it then flew over the brow and out of sight.
After another half an hour searching the field where it disappeared we found it again standing on the long grass, this time a bit closer. It kept diving onto the ground and then flying a short distance before landing again.
Eventually we lost it as it flew into the scrub next to the caravan.
It always feels better having to work to see a bird rather than just getting out the car and it being there.
We walked back to the car through the plantation but nothing apart from a dead Buzzard was there.
It was starting to get dark and we had good views of the Shrike so we didn’t bother with Harwood and went to Bothal Pond to try for the Green Winged Teal, which was there this morning. All the Teal had moved onto the smaller flash next to the pond but no sign of the GW Teal.
I see that a Barnacle Goose was at Swallow Pond yesterday; I wonder if it was the same one that was at Arcot on Sunday?