I saw a bird today which I saw and thought "I know that, but I just can't think of it - it'll come to me (10-15 years ago, I used to be quite a keen bird spotter but am *very* rusty now)" and wandered on. Having got home and gone through copy of Colllins Bird Guide, I can't find it. Wondering if anyone has any suggestion.
(as much information as I can think of below, I don't normally waffle so!)
Location: The Vyne, National Trust, near Basingstoke.
Habitat: There are some woods there, next to a lake - it was in the trees (about 20' above ground), right on the outskirts of the wood. It wasn't a water-bird.
Description of bird:
Probably about 25cm from head to tail, quite slim. I'd say it had the gait of a mockingbird (it wasn't a mockingbird!).
It was quite plain, almost bluey-grey all over apart from its head which was black (which rules out a cuckoo, and there were no stripes on his tum, which was facing me) - the line between black head and rest of body was very distinct. Its head looked as if it had a bit of a crest shape to it (though it had just tipped it down so that may have been because it was wet).
Saw it a couple more times as well - it was very vocal (I can't remember what sort of noise it was making) and hopping around.
It wasn't a pied wagtail (head was all black, no black on bib, and wagtail was too small).
Wasn't a coal-tit, blackcap (too small, wrong colours)
Anyone got any suggestions? As I said, I thought I recognised it, so I didn't dwell on it too long unfortunately.