Wow, what a fantastic couple of days birding Gordon Duffus and myself had at Moor Green Lakes last week. On Wednesday 16th November, Gordon and Tony Clarke were looking across the New Workings, whilst I was counting the gulls, when I heard Tony say, "What's that bird on the conveyor belt", I carried on counting while Gordon looked at the bird and he suddenly said, "It's a BLACK REDSTART". I tore my eye away from my scope to look in the direction that they were looking, when Gordon informed us that it had flown down the far side of the gravel bank and that he did get a good view of the bird. All eyes were trained on the area where it had gone, but it wasn't seen again. So I missed it, the first BLACK REDSTART seen here since 1995, that will teach me to count gulls. On the next day, Thursday 17th November, Gordon and I were again at Moor Green hoping to catch another sighting of the BLACK REDSTART. I had arrived earlier than him and was looking across East Fen when I saw a SHORT EARED OWL flying towards the North side of the New Workings, where it landed out of sight. I thought that perhaps Gordon was going to miss it, but then saw him walking along the footpath towards me. I waved to him to come forward quickly, which he did. After a minute or so the SHORT EARED OWL took off after being disturbed by a Carrion Crow and then something happened that neither of us had seen before, the owl started to chase the crow as if it were annoyed at the crow for disturbing it. The owl chased the crow around the New Workings until they were at a fairly high altitude. The owl then gave up the chase and eventually landed behind the line of trees at Honey Field and unfortunately out of sight. We never had another sighting during the rest of the morning. This was the first SHORT EARED OWL seen here since last October, when Gordon and I were lucky enough to see and report that bird. Later on we were at the 'Grey Box' where the BLACK REDSTART was seen when Gordon said, "Can you look through my scope and confirm that this is a GREAT GREY SHRIKE", which I did and it was, sitting in the top of an oak tree from where it flew a short distance into the top of another oak tree. After some good views and a record shot taken by Gordon it flew West and out of our sight and was not found again. What a find, the first Great Grey Shrike reported since 1993. Also that morning we saw SPARROWHAWK, PEREGRINE, KESTREL, 60+ GOLDEN PLOVER and a GOOSANDER, not a bad days birding for Moor Green and one which we will probably find hard to equal.
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Hi, I'm Roger Milligan. I have been interested in birds since I was a boy growing up in south east London, which was a long time ago. I now live in Farnborough, Hampshire.