We decided it was too wet'n'windy to ring this morning, but JF and I decided to go birding at Dru and check out places for new net rides. There were still a few migrants about like redstarts, whinchat, whitethoats, spotfly etc as we worked the bushes at the north end, I even went through the 'mugwort' valley of death in hope of a bluethroat and then waded neck deep along the lake outfall - no luck.
After checking the pools, we headed towards the entrance willows via the bushes by the new NWT bridge, just beyond them we picked up a juvenile red-backed shrike on the fence. I put it on the pager as being opposite the gypsy camp, only then it flew directly to their pile of fly-tipping and perched right on top! A premonition or what! Good bird for the patch, I've had one here before, a good few years ago. I missed the one Boulmer Birder had by the farm in the last year of the patch competition - then again so did everybody else.......there was a whitethoat there.....
The RB shrike caused a bit of twitch, no doubt to the amusement/dismay of the HRF, maybe they were aggrieved that we had invaded their privacy.
Earlier a quick look offshore produced a red-necked grebe (moulting into winter plumage) and another, smaller, unidentified grebe.
On a sadder note, the receding floodwater have left pools behind on the path conataining hundreds of dead and dying sticklebacks - the forgotten victims of last weekends floods, we didn't see Prince Charles and Camilla coming to rescue them!
The dead and dying....
144 red-necked grebe
145 red-backed shrike