Welcome to my blog. If you live in Surrey and birding is your obsession (to get out of bed at some ridiculously early time of the morning, no matter what the weather, to go and look at birds isn't normal behaviour, believe me) and you're still a bit of a novice (like me) then, hopefully, this blog is for you.

Sunday, 13 March 2016


The spring migration has still to get going as we enter week three of March, so apart from the long-staying female Scaup, plus an intermittent Cetti's Warbler and a Redshank that I've both yet to see, there's not much to write about as far as the patch is concerned.

We've have a few more Rooks than is normal, due to the fields at Chilmead and Mercers Farms being ploughed and drilled, Chiffchaff numbers are up on this time last year, and a Raven has been seen raiding the landfill on the odd occasion (another I've yet to see).

So last Thursday evening I opted for a visit away from Surrey and went to Ashdown Forest to see if I could find the Great Grey Shrike that has wintered the near the Long car park area just south of Wych Cross. I haven't seen a Great Grey Shrike all winter so I thought this one might be easier to find than the Thursley Common bird, with also less walking involved.

After two hours looking in the wrong place I found the Shrike sitting in a bush. I got close enough for a photo but predictably if flew off before I could take one. It was getting dark so I left to fight another day, which happened to be this morning.

In complete contrast, and obviously with a bit of foresight, I almost walked into the Great Grey Shrike. It was perched high up in a tree in typical fashion, minding its own business until I turned up, as clear as day.

I spent a good hour watching this delightful winter specialist as I followed it around the Common – it was mobile more due to me being an irritating presence until it got fed up enough to fly further away than I was bothered to follow.


  1. You should be taken out and flogged by the Subbing Guild for that headline Neil!

  2. Working for the Daily Star has obviously become a bad influence!