Thursday, 11 October 2012

11th of October: Joey's last day

Great Grey Shrike in dead Elder (Richard Porter)

Today was Joes last day on the Point and he wanted to see it out with a few birds. Joe has worked very hard for the reserve over the last six months and thoroughly deserved a good last day. The wind went south east last night and thus we did have a good day for migration on the point. The first we knew of this was when Joe and Paul saw a Short-eared Owl coming in off the sea at Coast Guards. Later Andy Stoddart (a regular Blakeney Point birdwatcher) rang us to say that there was a Great Grey Shrike on the Yankee (a shipwrecked boat on what is now known as Yankee Ridge). The same bird was later seen on the weather vane at the Lifeboat House (which was pointing east) and in the dead Elders and the Birch. It also rather enjoyed chasing around the now large flock of Linnets (as seen in the picture below) that regularly use the garden pond. Another Short-eared Owl was seen on Far Point as well as a Pied Flycatcher, a Willow Warbler and a Peregrine. Other migrants passing over included 6 Crossbills, 12 Bramblings, 70 Redwings, a Woodlark and a Grey Wagtail. Meadow Pipits, Linnets and Skylarks were seen in high numbers.  A Great Grey Shrike, a male Hen Harrier and a Merlin were taking advantage of these freshly arrived migrants as food.

A Great Grey Shrike chasing Linnets

A Short-eared Owl in off the sea

Woodlark, very rare for the Point

A beautiful male Hen Harrier

All other pictures by Joe Cockram/ Text by Eddie Stubbings

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