Sunday, 26 October 2014

Steppe Grey Shrike at Burnham Norton

12th October 2014

In my experience Great Grey Shrikes are fairly difficult to photograph as they tend to keep their distance and can go missing for several hours. However, I seemed to remember that a Steppe Grey that I saw several years ago was far more reliable and much more approachable. Therefore when the Burnham Norton bird was still there after a week it was just too much to resist.

I set off on a grey overcast day in the knowledge that it was forecast to brighten up late morning by which time I should be on site. Unfortunately, by the time I got to The Brecks I was driving in fog but thankfully not too thick. Luckily the sun had burnt through by the time I got to Swaffham and I arrived at Burnham Norton under a blue sky and brilliant sunshine.

However, what happened next was totally unexpected. After a quick sandwich and a cup of tea I walked the half a mile to the shrike location and by the time I got there it was.............THICK FOG!!! I could see the bird further down the ditch sitting at the top of a Hawthorn bush but no more than a ghostly shadow. Even when it came to one of the closer posts it was still just a dull grey bird against a dull grey background.


However, by 11.30am, in accordance with the weather forecast, the fog burnt off and the day got gradually brighter and brighter revealing the true colours of this magnificent bird.










































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