Monday, 3 May 2021

Woodchat Shrike in Rochford, Essex

As I drove back from Frampton yesterday I was half tempted to divert to Rochford but I was simply too tired so went to bed last night hoping the reported Woodchat Shrike would stay another day and sure enough it did. 

On arrival the safe viewing distance had been established by others so I set up the scope and enjoyed very good views of the smart adult bird but because of the distance the camera was only used to produce a record shot or two. The bird was sheltering from the wind so sitting low down in the Blackthorn to launch the occasional attack. It's always nice to bump into a few of the local guys but as a small crowd slowly gathered some started to set their own new shorter safe distance so I decided to call it a day and headed to Wallasea just a couple of miles down the road. Time was limited but I did pick up a few views of Corn Bunting for another year tick and from the sea wall just a single Whimbrel of note.

Corn Bunting at Wallasea

Corn Bunting

Woodchat Shrike

The small twitch we left behind

Woodchat Shrike (and this is after a heavy crop)

Home for lunch with the year list now sitting at a recovering 181

This was only the second Woodchat I've ever seen in Essex and the last one was taken by a Sparrowhawk (Rettendon 2011) so I'm hoping this one does better. My last UK Woodchat was September 2017 (Chipping Sodbury) so I was due one but it's great to have one in the home county again.

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