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Wednesday 30th January 2008
Amberley - The Burgh - Amberley
7.8 miles

I really needed to take my eyes away from my computer screen for a while, plus there had been reports of a Great Grey Shrike at Amberley, so I nicked off and went to see if I could find it. We have been searching Ashdown forest in vain for 4 years now in the hope of seeing the over-wintering shrike that stays there, so the thought of one being within my grasp was too much to bear.
I got off the train and straight away I saw a kestrel across the road eating something. Then, above the Sportsman pub were 2 buzzards, 2 peregrines and a sparrowhawk. Wow! The shrike had been seen from the beer garden of the pub, so I went in, ordered a cider and made my way to the garden. I lifted my binoculars and there it was. Eureka! It was quite distant but beggars can't be choosers.
With my main mission accomplished I set off to Rackham Hill and the Burgh hoping to see some short-eared owls and hen harriers. No owls again today, but one quick sighting of a female Hen Harrier, another peregrine, some bramblings and lots more buzzards.
Even on the train home the birdwatching wasn't finished. Just as we were coming into Pulborough station I saw a barn owl flying along the river. What a day!

Kestrel eating its breakfast

Ok I know this is small, but it was a long way away. I was just happy to see it, let alone get a good picture.

kestrel hovering

Up on Rackham Hill