Saturday, 26 March 2011

Cannock Chase and Belvide

With the weather being rather grey today the plan was to stay fairly local so a trip to Cannock Chase to hopefully see the Shrike finally!! and then the Black Necked Grebe at Belvide. Well that was the plan.

Getting to the Chase it was very grey so the thought of finding a grey bird against a grey back drop didn't fill me with much hope but if you don't try you don't succeed.
Plenty of Woodpecker activity with a pair fending off their patch from an invader was good to watch, also picked up Green Woodpecker while watching these fight it out.
A first  scan around didn't pick up the Shrike but I did find a couple of Wood Lark one which was displaying so was good to get my ear in a learn their call.

Wood Lark Cannock Chase
I kept walking around hoping to find the elusive Shrike, after a while I did think I was going to dip again just picking up Yellow Hammer to add to my list.
Then after shortly taking to a group of birders it appeared if by magic on its favorite Holly tree. Things were looking up, just now had to bag that record shot. By the time I got in position it had flown further back up the hill so I thought it safe to cross the valley and try and hide behind a Birch tree and get a shot.

Great Grey Shrike
It did fly back to its Holly tree where I watched it for a while and saw it go into the centre of the bush, I am assuming that where its keeping its larder and probably where it was hiding the other times I missed it.

Was then off to Belvide to try and see the Black Necked Grebe I wasn't holding out hope of photographing the bird I assumed as last time I saw one there it would be way out of reach of my lens, and so it was being over by the far corner of the dam. But at least I can say I saw it. Plenty of Chiff Chaff around so although it didn't feel like spring it at least sounded like it.

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