Monday, 22 September 2014

Masked Shrike!!!

On a dull, miserable Saturday morning I went through my usual routine of checking what birds were around both locally and across the UK (using Twitter and Rare Bird Alert). My heart stopped... the day suddenly became very much brighter indeed. A Masked Shrike had turned up at Spurn! To say I was excited was an understatement. This was only the third time this species had ever been recorded in the UK and here it was in my home county. Now all I had to do was to convince my Dad to get to Spurn and see this fantastic little bird.

Sadly I couldn't get there on Saturday but thankfully I convinced my Dad to take me on Sunday. We arrived at Spurn at around 2pm, we parked in Well Field and headed of to find this absolute mega! As soon as we reached the spot the Masked Shrike was immediately on show. What a little cracker! It was quite distant but nice scope views obtained. I was just about to look through the scope at it when it suddenly flew of but thankfully it came much closer! It showed very well and I was so pleased to see such a fantastic little bird. Below the Shrike there was a Roe Deer sitting down in the grass. We watched this cracking bird for quite a while and after we went to try and see the Red Breasted Flycatcher opposite the churchyard.

Masked Shrike and Roe Deer
When we reached the spot of the Red Breasted Fly we only had to wait about 5 minutes before this awesome bird gave brief but nice views, we saw it well 2 times and a few times more briefly but it was still a nice bird to see. After we went to look for the Barred Warbler which was opposite the Crown and Anchor but despite waiting for quite a while we had no luck but we did get a cracking Pied Fly in the Crown and Anchor car park.
Pied Fly
We then decided to try and go to see the Olive Backed Pipit. On our way we spotted a Wheatear which showed well on some rocks near the path.
When we got to the Olive Backed Pipit spot we asked a couple of birders if they had seen it and one replied not for a good hour so we waited a while but it didn't appear so we went to the Canal Scrape Hide to see if we could see a Jack Snipe. When we got to the hide a man pointed out a stunning Jack Snipe to us, he was hiding behind some reeds but occasionally he came out into the open. A little while later someone else spotted another Jack Snipe but this one was a little further away. In front of the hide there was a close Common Snipe feeding and 2 Wheatears.

Jack and Common Snipe

Sadly we didn't have much time left so we decided to have a quick check in at Sammy's point to see if there was much around and we spotted at least 2 Redstarts, a Willow Warbler and loads of Meadow Pipits.  



  1. Great post Ellis, I'd love to see that Masked Shrike but too far away and my Dad probably wouldn't be willing to take me just for a bird! If only my Mum and Dad loved birds...

  2. Great blog post Ellis , well done on getting all those great birds , superb photos mate

  3. Yeah cracking blog there mate! Super pics of amazing birds! Wish I could go and see it!

  4. Super shots Ellis. So pleased it was on show for you.
    Cracking day as ever. Spurn rules ;))

  5. Really good blog Ellis, great photos - what a fantastic day!