Sunday, 24 September 2017

Still got love for the shrikes

I had a day out in Kent today. Decent southeasterly winds but it was a beautiful day; never great in autumn as it doesn't necessarily feel that 'rare'. Dante and I started off early and did the area immediately east of Dover at White Cliffs and then headed into Langdon Hole. I've always liked this place, despite having never seen anything there, and unsurprisingly didn't bump into anyone birdy. Mind you, our haul was pretty bang average with 3 Lesser Whitethroats, a Wheatear, a Willow Warbler and c.25 Chiffchaff for our efforts. There was a scattering of Yellow-browed Warblers just around the coast, but we drew a blank this time.

And so we headed to Dungeness where there was already news of a Red-backed Shrike in the desert area. It took us little time at all to see it, where there was a pleasantly small crowd with the bird sallying from hawthorns just behing 'Southview', the house where almost to the day a couple of years ago I saw that monster yank Acadian Flycatcher. Anyway, enjoy the shots of this presumably Scandinavian waif.



juvenile Red-backed Shrike Dungeness, Kent 24th September 2017
There was also a Pied Flycatcher in the moat by the bird observatory, and a brief hour or so around the gulls produced a superb adult Yellow-legged Gull as well as a Norwegian 2nd-winter Great Black-backed Gull that was about last weekend.
adult Yellow-legged Gull Dungeness, Kent 24th September 2017
Anyway, we headed off back to London a little bit too early as we got a text from Mick S when we were between Lydd and Ashford, about a 2nd-winter Caspian Gull that had come into the fishing boats feast early evening. You can't see everything is what I tell myself, but let's hope this is the pinnacle of being gripped this autumn!

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