At the start of the listing year the brown shrike is back after an absence of two weeks. As it's fairly local, I decided to go straight up and see it for this year. There were surprisingly few people there, only six or eight. With directions from them, I quickly got on to it, in exactly the same area as when it went AWOL before Christmas.
I watched it for a while and took a few record shots. There were quite a few dog walkers going over the river so I went over and set up my tripod over a small clump of rushes where there was a bush about 20m away. The shrike is a creature of habit and usually does the rounds of its favourite bushes. I sat down to wait.
I watched it on the far side of the river where it gave good views to those on that side. Had I made a mistake? Perhaps I had made the mistake of sitting on the grass. Very quickly I had a very wet behind, the ice cold water seeping through all thicknesses. I shifted sideways so I could sit on the tuft itself. Eventually the shrike came over the river again quite a way away. It flew off behind a bush. Suddenly it appeared low down left of 'my' bush but it was obscured by a twig. Then, yes, it moved to the right hand side, half-way up. I managed about ten shots before he was off and I was happy.
This is a very entertaining bird. If you go, you're almost bound to see it. A nice start to the year.