Saturday, 18 February 2017

York Gull Watch and Shrike Seconds

Helped with the York Birding Club Gull Watch at Rufforth this morning. A great turn out of about 25 birders. Sadly, the gulls were not behaving with the majority remaining on the Tip. Nevertheless we picked out two first winter Glaucous Gulls and a second winter Lesser Black-backed Gull among the hordes of Herring Gulls. Not many Great Black-backs about, presumably many have headed back north and east. A large flock of c50 Fieldfares went north late morning.

The second Glauc hiding in the flock.
Chris, Emanuela and me then headed down to Acaster Airfield and after a walk, Emanuela relocated the Great Grey Shrike at a distance. She was very pleased as this was a tick for her. It hunted along the hedge to the south of the truck depot and came pretty close. At one point it caught a vole which it immediately flew off with in its beak into the thick scrub near the Ebor Trucks entrance. It disappeared into the bushes and then a few minutes later flew back out without the vole. It had presumably cached it in its larder. Cool. It then carried on hunting. Quite a few birders turned up to see it and it was good to see some familiar faces.

Phone-scoped Shrike.

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