For a half term holiday it was not too bad out in the forest, plenty of parking and not too many kids. The Great Grey Shrike was showing well just north of the white cottage and the bonus bird of the day was a male Hen Harrier by Whitten Ponds.
The winter birding is still good, Bitterns at Hatch Pond, Harriers at Middlebere and a lonely Knot at Shore Road. It would be nice to get a snap of one of the Merlins at Middlebere but they are keeping well away from the hide and track.
If there is a better place to see Goosanders than Eyeworth pond, I will eat my cap. Each year they congregate in January/February and start chasing each other around the pond, sometimes oblivious to the watching visitors. Group photo. Walking on water. A duck. A drake. What a mouthful.
Living up to its name the Great Grey Shrike at Holmsley was in its larder with a freshly caught wren. After a bit of a nibble the poor wren was stuck on a twig and the shrike indulged in a spot of sunbathing. The unlucky wren circled in red.
Its has been a good winter for harriers at Middlebere and today was no exception. The female Marsh Harrier was hunting to the left of the hide and the male Hen Harrier was in front of the hide.