Monday, 25 May 2015

Stints at Broom and a Shrike at Fairlop...not a bad bank holiday!

Muntjac Deer at Fowlmere
An early dart up the A1 to Broom this morning and my first trip to Gypsy Lane where I parked up to view the pits left by the gravel extractions. (A great patch if it's to be managed to keep the scrapes dry) Luckily a couple of birders were already on site and even luckier was the fact that they had the Temmink's Stints in view so I hastily joined them with my scope and enjoyed good views of the little crackers before scoping the other end of the pits to find the Little Stint. Great little waders and nice to see them together (ish) to compare etc.
Temminck's Stint
Little Stint (The Magners bottle giving some scale)
With a tip off that Fowlmere RSPB was on my way home and had Turtle Dove on site I headed off in that direction and found a tidy little reserve on farmland with the added bonus of some reedbed too. Hares danced around in the fields and a Muntjac was seen too before I heard the purring of a Turtle Dove. I struggled to see the bird but a walk along the boardwalk delivered at least three more calling birds and good but distant views of two birds perched up in dead trees. A Marsh Harrier was present (they have bred here in the past) and a Bank Vole was seen before I left for home.

Hare at Fowlmere
So with a good couple of hours squeezed in this morning I'm sitting at home and news breaks of a male Red-backed Shrike being found at Fairlop ten minutes up the road. A quick call to let the Jims know I'm going and we're all on site in no time. Not quite sure of the birds location we wander around the back of the Lagoon and we're surprised to find no birders on site. The habitat looked great for Shrike so we started to scan and it was one of those rare moments when the old fella pulled it out of the bag spotting the target in the mid distance. We enjoyed a few minutes with it and managed a couple of record shots in the company of Dick J and Martin B.  Let's hope the bird roosts and gives more people the chance to catch up with's a stunner!

Red-backed Shrike at Fairlop Waters
Red-backed Shrike at Fairlop

Year list now 235

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