Having heard reports over the last two days of an unusual sighting on the South West coastal path at Mount Batten in Plymouth I decided to make the trip down to see what all the fuss was about. On arrival this spectacular bird, a Lesser Grey Shrike, Lanius minor, showed itself immediately at close quarters and posed for photos for myself and the other numerous birders and photographers there.
I was happy to get one shot but overjoyed that it came even closer and sat up nicely on the end of a branch for these frame filling images, not the best background but shows good feather detail
A very worthwhile trip to see a bird that would normally be in much warmer climes in southern and eastern Europe and southern Africa.
I spent a couple of hours walking along the South West coastal path from Wembury beach heading East towards the Yealm estuary last week in search of passage migrant birds, in particular Yellow Wagtails which had been sighted there recently and possibly Clouded Yellow Butterflies. No sign of either of these but even better was this Wryneck sitting on a gate which I managed to get a shot of before it disappeared.
Following the path further I then spotted a Kestrel flying westward so I followed it back up the path and got close enough to catch some flight shots, this one with it hovering looking for prey.
I then made my way back eastward to see what else was around. There were at least a dozen Wheatear sitting on the fence posts preparing to make there way South.
Also a handful of Stonechats were flitting around and this one allowed me to get quite close.
Further on towards the mouth of the Yealm there were numerous Gulls sitting on the rocks at the bottom of the cliffs and one or two flying over. I also spotted a Razorbill on the sea, close to the shore but a little too far down to get a decent shot.