Saturday, January 05, 2008

Local Birding (Eastern Jackdaw & Great Grey Shrike) - 5th Jan 2008.

Following a phonecall from Barry James, I set off from home intending to twitch the Ightenhill Great Grey Shrike which BJ had just relocated, but got waylayed en-route at Withnell Landfill in the hope of obtaining better images of the well marked eastern Jackdaw which I saw the other day and fortunately I succeeded. There may be a few more birds present, but not as well marked as this individual.

Above: Eastern (presumed Nordic?) Jackdaw - Withnell Landfill Site, Lancs - 5th Jan 2008.
I'm unsure how many records of the eastern races of Jackdaw there have been in Lancs but i'll try and find out.
The last week of cold easterlies has seen a noticable influx of argentatus Herring Gulls locally, some being real brutes.

Above: Argentatus Herring Gull - Withnell Landfill Site, Lancs - 5th Jan 2008.
At 14:50, Peter Ross rang with news that the Ightenhill Great Grey Shrike was still showing in the same location as Barry James had seen it some four hours earlier, so a snap decision was made to forfeit the Fishmoor Gull roost and nip over to try and connect before dark. Councillor John F. Wright, fresh back from a few days in the lakes, accompanied me for this twitch and we arrived at the location of the bird following a muddy 15 min yomp through Hagg Wood just before 16:00 to see the Shrike briefly perched back-on atop a Hawthorn on the southern bank of the Calder before it flew to trees on the north bank where it gave frankly unsatisfactory and partially obsured views before moving even further into cover presumably to roost at 16:15, at which point we headed back to the car. Didn't see it well enough to age with confidence. Still, my third local GGS of the winter secured, but I shall be back to obtain better views and images hopefully.
Above: Great Grey Shrike - Ightenhill, Burnley, Lancs - 5th Jan 2008.