On Sat. 11th my target birds were Wilsons Phalarope and Daurian Shrike , well i had just enough time Friday evening to get over to Grove ferry to see the Wilsons Phalarope which is only the fifth record for Kent and the first record for the Stour Valley , i saw it from the viewing mound and although it was tricky to get onto as it was feeding in between the much larger Lapwings and Teal , i saw it quite well .
On the Saturday as i arrived at the viewing mound at Grove ferry it was not on show then after about 10 mins the shout went up that it was flying with some Lapwings over Harrisons drove hide , everyone was quickly onto the Wilsons enjoying a prolonged flight view , grey upperparts and wings , white rump were clearly seen , pale underwings were also noticeable , it landed briefly amongst the Lapwings then took to flight again and landed in another pool which had no viewing access .
I gave it another 45 mins but it did not reappear , other birds of note here were 1 Spotted Redshank , several Ruff , a fine male Marsh Harrier drifting over the reed bed and one or two Cettis being very vocal nearby, i then decided it was time to set of to Gosport in the hope of connecting with the Daurian Shrike , as i made my way through Chislet i noticed a falcon flying over the road and with closer inspection we soon realized i was watching a superb Hobby and after a couple of mins i headed onward to my next destination.
The traffic was quite horrible on my way to Gosport being caught up in 3 traffic jams , don't you just love the M25... anyway once i arrived on site the weather had turned to light rain and the gathered birders were not on the bird , although i have to comment i thought they were standing far to close to the area of where the Shrike had been seen , i have seen two very bad bird field craft skills in the last couple of weeks i hope this is just a blip and not the sign of the times ???
Well i stood further back and after a few minutes i managed to connect with the superb , fantastic Daurain Shrike just perching in amongst the brambles quite low down , i put the most welcome shout out , " i 've got it ! " and soon we were all enjoying this fine bird , i have now seen 3 Daurain Shrikes , 1 in Kent at Stodmarsh , 1 in Cornwall at Sennan and i never tire of seeing them , i just love Shrikes i guess .
Daurian Shrike low down in brambles .