Excellent work from Tim Vaughan this morning when he found a lovely Great Grey Shrike in the grazing paddocks at Cabin Hill down at the end of Range Lane, Formby – fitting reward for his diligent patchwork at the site (along with Lawrence Atters of course).
Nipped down from Ainsdale at lunchtime, parked up on Jubilee Road and walked down to see Tony Conway and Jack Taylor peering into the fields, which have been screaming “shrike” since late summer, and regularly hosting Whinchats and Stonechats (there were two of the latter there today and three under the office up at Ainsdale).
Unfortunately for me the shrike had just dropped out of sight, having disported itself at close range earlier and it was another ten minutes or so before Tony picked it up again a gazillion miles away out on a hawthorn hedge out in the fields behind Marsh Farm.
It didn’t come any closer while I was there, frequently dropping out of sight as shrikes do for long periods, or dashing off on hunting sorties over the stubble, but by retracing my steps up Range Lane and looking out through the gaps in the trees I was able to scope it and get a few ropey images…
Distant though it may have been, you can’t beat a shrike for lunch.
Hope it goes without saying, but if the bird is still around tomorrow, watch from Range Lane – do NOT enter the fields.