The bird was reported early Saturday morning on Birdguides and a phone call from Mike Weedon confirmed it. I had to wait until after work, hoping that the bird would linger until then. A huge rain storm curtailed my working day by an hour, but unfortunately this storm also stopped the reports of sightings. I left for Baston fen in a positive frame of mind, but after a quick conversation with Mike, my mood darkened somewhat with him telling me that the bird hadn't been seen since 3pm and the last time that it was seen a Sparrowhawk was paying attention to the bird.
I needn't have worried. I arrived at the site and walked the supposed 1/2 mile (felt more like 1 mile) to the birds last refuge and there on top of a hawthorn bush was a rather splendid male Red-backed Shrike being harassed by Reed Buntings. This was obviously annoying the Shrike and so he preceded to hide deep in the hawthorn and refused to come out again. I left as darkness fell, never seeing him in the open again, but very satisfied in having finally 'scratched' the 'itch' of a Red-backed Shrike.
|Can you spot him? A super-cropped version is below|
|Same as above!|
|At least you can see him!|
|No better, I am afraid!|