Great Grey Shrike

East Lancashire has had a happy knack of turning up Great Grey Shrikes with some regularity over the past few years but after a lean winter for them, the news of one near the summit of Grindleton Fell meant that I just had to stop my coursework and head for the hills!

I phoned Mark Breaks who lives just 2 miles from the site (as the Shrike flies - it's all uphill) to tell him of the news that had pinged up on my e-mail (thanks Jonathan) and I set off post haste!

It was around 2:20 when I got there but the bird wasn't showing and had been rather distant but after ten minutes of scanning, I picked it up on a far dry stone wall near the skyline from where it srtied up to the top and then to various placed on the moor near the plantation. However, at three, having perched up on a lone small conifer, it flew down and we never saw it again. I don't know if it was a juvenile or adult as we were far too far away (and certainly too far for any pictures), but seeing it flying around, hovering and generally being active was reward enough. Let's hope it stays around for others to see it though the forecast for the next few days might just preclude that.

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