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.