A twitching day

The news of a Steppe Grey Shrike in Lincolnshire along with plenty of other good birds on that coast was far too tempting so it was east I headed with Billy, Phil and Neil early on Saturday morning. We arrived at a very blustery Horseshoe Point and was immediately given alternative directions to the bird that negated the walk in excess of a mile each way. After a wrong turn we eventually found the right track which led us to a crowd of birders watching the bird. After about ten minutes it decided that it was far too far away from us and gave a great show, feeding actively. The hush of the assembled throng spoke volumes for the appreciation of this star performer.
We then decided to head for the Two-barred Crossbill in North Yorkshire - a bit of a trek! Two hours later we were yomping up the track to the isolated house that sat nestled amongst a stand of Larch. The bird hadn't been seen for ages but just as we arrived there was a bit of commotion - I moved myself away from the crowd and found a better vantage point - a beautiful male feeding actively on Larch cones. It then came down towards the feeder but didn't alight until everyone had moved back a few yards. Unfortunately I'd left my camera back a the car - a sure sign that we'd get great views!

From there it was on to Nosterfield for a drake Canvasback. The light was fading fast but we got there just in time. The duck was a little distant but the jizz was distinctive. there is a little debate about whether it's a pure bird but the jizz, size and paleness all pointed to it being a good record.


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