Sunday, 8 March 2009

Great Grey Shrike

On Friday 1st March me and Crammy Birder set off for Black Lough. It's rare to find someone the same age when your a young Birdwatcher, so I was surprise when I met Crammy Birder and found out he was in the same year. We seem to be a rare breed with not many of us about.

I'm sure there must be more younger people with an interest, not a great deal more, whether through life this interest withers away, through school, street cred, girls or probably parents I'm not completely sure, but it must disappear almost completely. Also the way of life has changed, I sit in awe when I hear the stories of my dad going everywhere not a care in the world, doing everything, ALWAYS outside, knowing most species of bird and mammals, building camps, tree houses, camping, making fires, just simply walking any distance, and being out in any weather. There was a passion, which seems to be lacking in young people today.

I see it at my local Scout troup, if you read Robert-Baden Powell's Scouting for Boys its amazing what they did and learnt, the current Scouting authorities do not encourage these sorts of outdoors activities. Encouragement is key to continuing the interest of your surroundings, every kid has that interest, but as we get older it dies away if were not careful. I say stick in to any young person out there who has a passion for the natural world, in any aspect.

Enough of my rant, back to birds...

We made our way up to the Lough over the heather, when we reached the top someone was having a fishing retreat and the bird was nowhere to be seen. Another birder joined us quick scan and we began walking round the lough, scanning the skyline I spotted what looked like the bird, quick look through a scope and it was positive. It was West of the lough quite a way away, walking up it dropped off the horizon, once at other side it couldn't be found until we began walking back to the Lough. Brilliant views of a bird which I had never seen before, it was bigger than I pictured, after about 30 seconds it moved slightly then off into the willows at the back of the lough.

We followed a well worn deer track back to the car, others birds around included Coal Tit, Goldcrest, Common Buzzard, Reed Bunting, Skylark, Song Thrush, and a group of Carrion Crows.


  1. As a 'middle aged' birder it's great to see younger birders like Crammy, Whitley & you coming through not only birding but integrating the new technology like this as well.
    I tried to send you details of Black Lough but it bounced back from your email, can you email me at so I can add to contacts.

  2. yeah i am a young birder too (20) from rowlands gill and venture upto northumberland to go birding sometimes and not once have i seen someone my age. maybe catch you out and about sometime!