Scrapbook ~ Wildlife walks throughout the year
Saturday 30th November 2013
Washington - Chanctonbury Ring - Cissbury Ring - No-man's Land - Chantonbury
Ring - Washington.
A version of a walk
that we have done many times before, each time with a large amount of
satisfaction thrown in. Today the area was relatively quiet of people perhaps
due to the cold but it was also pretty quiet for birds with just a handful of
species seen along the way. The handful however included a bird that we never
expected to see here and which came as quite a surprise - A
Great Grey Shrike spotted by Gill flitting from tree to tree in Chanctonbury
Ring itself. We were mesmerised by it for 20 mins but had to tear ourselves away
to continue our walk. Our discovery put a smile on our faces that lasted all day
Chanctonbury Hill and a beautiful place out of the cold wind to stop for a cuppa on
the way up.
With brightening skies the light became
very striking against the black clouds.
Chanctonbury Ring (known
as Chanklebury in Sussex
dialect) and the light starts to get more
This old place seems slightly different every visit and I've been visiting it
for nearly 40 years now.
Just as I was taking this photo of this mysterious place, Gill said quietly, " Andy, there's a shrike in
There bloomin' well was too -
A Great Grey Shrike - a magical bird in a magical place. Unfortunately I
didn't get any good photos, just this ID shot.
Much better photos of this bird (taken the following day by P. Loader) can be
the Great Grey Shrike literally means "sentinel butcher": Lanius is
the Latin term for a butcher, while
Latin for a watchman or sentinel. This refers to the birds' two most conspicuous
behaviours – storing prey by impaling them on thorns, and using exposed
tree-tops or poles to watch the surrounding area for prey. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Grey_Shrike)
Take the time to read
countryside code for yourself and please stick to it at all times.