Sunday, 13 September 2020

Sutton Park, West Midlands :: 12 September 2020

Today was the day I was booked to transport my youngest daughter to her University digs, in prepartion for what is likely to be a strange final year. With one of her French friends already resident (isolating there for the last few weeks), it was time for the rest of them to return and prepare.

Having executed my duties, it was time to return home and join the caravan down the M6. I'd hoped to get away at a sensible hour and fortunately I did. By 4.45pm I was pulling up in the car park at Sutton Park. In my favour I had talked with @old_caley the night before, as he had visited at the end of August - he had given me a pointer as where to target: "Enter via Boldmere Gate next to Powell’s Pool. Park at the Flying Field car park and alk north west across grassy field aiming for grass tracks between scrub. Between Crown Plantation and Hurst Hill on map. RBS is in the area of scrub and crab apple trees".

I did as instructed and bumped into another birder with similar directions. When we reached the target area there was no one else to be seen and so we headed our seperate ways, searching for the bird. After a short time I noticed a guy with a camera walking the other way - he indicated the bird was quite a bit further on now but pretty vague about where he'd been - very odd. I looked for the chap I'd been talking to but he was nowhere to be seen.

I set off and after about 10 minutes of searching I spotted a chap with a scope on the other side of some gorse - I reached him and shortly after was on the bird. After a few photos I spotted the chap I'd met earlier and went to wave him up to where we were.

Red-backed shrike

The bird was very obliging and I spent a while with it - a life tick for me after all!

Red-backed shrike

My next challenge was how to explain on the 'phone that I would be leaving for home AFTER the time when I said I'd already be there ...

Red-backed shrikeRed-backed shrike

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