Directions from Birdguides were vague and I was frantic. '400m in front of farm buildings', I checked all of the farm buildings, nobody about. As I drove into the pools to meet Janet, a chap comes up to me with a with a Yorkshire accent and says "are you looking for't shrike?"...."yes"...." I found it, I'll show you, follow me". We drove down towards Hemscotthill Farm and there it was, perched on the fence, the fence which forms the patch boundary.
|Poor iPhone-scoped record shot
Patch tick - in the bag. This takes the patch list to 233. I don't think it is a patch bird though, according to old reports there was a woodchat at 'Druridge' on 31st August 1966.
The chap was called Nigel Jones, from Leeds. Seemingly his local bird club booted him out, accusing of him of being a stringer (so he told me), he certainly hadn't strung this one!
It looked like a female bird (having ringed a few in Malta last week) and was of the nominate race. Seemingly Woodchat was a blocker for some of the County 'big listers' so there was soon a sizable twitch (by Northumberland standards). I saw the last one in the County, in 1997 at Hadston Scars Boat Club, I was working at the Country Park at the time and didn't even need to leave the park van.
|Decent twitch for a good county bird
|One elderly birder was having trouble with is 'new-fangled' iPhone adaptor thingy, Alan Tillmouth had to turn away, laughing, "I can't believe he fell for it"
Yesterday, I added grasshopper warbler to my year-list with two reeling males and had a very impressive count of 49 whimbrel on the Budge fields.
119 grasshopper warbler
120 common tern
121 long-eared owl
123 house martin
124 woodchat shrike
PWC Score = 159