Wednesday 14th October 2009
Had a phone call last night. It was the one I'd been hoping for from Tom. I was being called up off the subs bench as a late replacement for Julian Allen who was unavailable for this particular twitch. It was the chance I'd been waiting for to make the A team. My boots were immaculate but the rest of my kit was pretty shoddy if Im honest but in Tom's car he probably wouldn't notice. On the M40 we played the usual game of count the Red Kites with a slight adjustment of also counting Jays flying across the motorway. The difference wasnt as great as you might think. Anyway the human Sat Nav got us to our destination where we were met with 'its flown south but its still around'. The moor was in fact a large area of rough cattle pasture with scattered Hawthorn bushes. The Brown Shrike was almost as far away as it was possible to be. Birders started to edge closer, at least you could now tell it was a Shrike. The Shrike then gradually moved from bush to bush towards the assembled throng giving some excellent views through the scope.
Hunger pangs were troubling Tom and he muttered something about Services as he edged back towards the track back to the car. I'd come prepared with Pork pie and Hula hoops as I wasnt sure if Pork pies were obtainable this far South, being regarded as Northern Fodder like Black pudding and scratchings. I'm sure they are available in specialist dellies but I wasn't sure.