Monday, 8 September 2014

Landguard trip, plus Lesser Grey Shrike, Hollesley Suffolk

This morning we decided to head for Suffolk rather than Kent, and the morning started with a leisurely stroll around Landguard NR.
Weather conditions on route were changeable with a brief rain shower followed by mist and after reaching the car park it had turn cloudy and overcast. 
As soon as the Search of  the bushes began a smart looking Whinchat was found perched up. The first circuit of the common produced large flocks of Linnets with good numbers of Willow Warblers, Goldfinch and Pied Wagtails along with Smaller numbers of Blackcap, Whitethroat and several immaculate looking Lesser Whitethroat's. Wheatear's were also seen in good numbers.

Wheatear



I managed to miss a Wryneck feeding on the grassy bank of the compound, and a second one was missed when I arrived just after a couple that were totally oblivious to the gathered crowd just strolled straight through the area the Wryneck was feeding in.
After reaching the point and scanning the rock's at the water's edge we managed to locate a single Purple Sandpiper. It was roosting when we found it, but the incoming tide spraying the rock it was on soon persuaded it to find a safer spot.

Purple Sandpiper




On the return circuit I finally managed to get some good if brief views of a Wryneck. It landed on the ground between two bushes and then perched up on some teasel before disappearing into thicker cover.
It then appeared briefly on our side of the bushes, but all to soon it was back in thick cover.

Wryneck
With time short we decided to abandon any thoughts of searching for a Barred Warbler reported at Thorpeness and instead headed for Hollesley hoping to get a view of the Lesser Grey Shrike.
Taking the grassy path out towards the beach we could see a small group of birders/photographers away in the distance on the beach.
As we sat ourselves down next to them the bird re-appeared and gave some stunning views through the scope.
It would perch up on top of nearby bushes and launch attacks on anything it fancied for a meal. The success rate was very impressive.

Lesser Grey Shrike








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