Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Therfield Heath today - both SHRIKE and HEN HARRIER still being seen

Two visits today on the last day before returning to work. The morning one failed to produce the GREAT GREY SHRIKE and the consolation was a small flock of Golden Plover flying low over the fields at Grey's Farm, a Red Kite with something in its talons gliding menacingly over various flocks of feral pigeons, linnet (of which large numbers) and mainly black-headed gulls. Another Red Kite was seen. A HEN HARRIER did perch briefly on the hedge that runs perpendicular to the 'shrike hedge'. This was all from around 9.30 to 11.

In the afternoon, a cheery woman told me as I headed down the Icknield path that I had missed the GGS, that it was in a different place from usual (much higher up the hill) and that it had flown off. I met a birder from London who was looking for it and we wandered down to the 'usual' hedge anyway. Where we saw the shrike. It showed well for a while, and we got a bit blasé so started looking for raptors. Didn't see anything other than a Kestrel. It was very windy by then. This visit was early afternoon, from 1 till about 2.30 (Matt Roberts)

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