Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Great Grey Shrike, Chilham Kent

It took a while, but today we decided the time was right to take a look at the Great Grey Shrike that had been present at Chilham in Kent for a few weeks.
Before heading for Chilham we headed for Elmley and just after the gates were opened at 8am took a drive along the entrance track ending at the car park.
Curlew numbers were impressive with a flock of over 300 feeding to the left of the track. Among the flock were several Ruff.
Lapwings were again present in large numbers, which were more evident when two hunting Buzzards appeared low and put the flock up.
Four Marsh Harriers were seen hunting together and Kestrel, Meadow Pipits and Skylarks were seen along the track. A small raptor sitting on a roadside post, turned out to be another Kestrel instead of the hoped for Merlin we had been searching for.
A Pheasant sitting out in the sun gave a good photo opportunity to good to miss.

Approaching the end of the entrance track on the return journey a Stonechat perched up near the track side for a photo.

From Elmley it was another twenty miles across Kent to Chilham. After parking up in  the lay by off Branch Road the Shrike was quickly located perched up in the field on the opposite side of the road to the car.
It set about hunting prey along the edges of the small stream, and would fly back and forth using each tree along the stream.
The overhead cables were also often used, and from time to time it would fly across the road at the far end only to reappear a short time later.

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