Aisby & outside of Grantham

Went to see if i could see the Aisby Great Grey Shrike this morning. Go to the spot it had been seen on a cold frosty day where 3 birders where there already, Graham Welch (spelt correctly I hope!) Henry Kennedy from Cranwell and another unknown to me but pleasant fellow.

A bit of scanning took place by us all, utilising the 4 pairs of eyes with us all looking in different directions. Soon it was down to 3, me Graham and Henry, the sun was breaking through by now and all we had seen was large distant groups of Wood Pigeons and Corvids.

We made a joint decision to walk on the sunny side of the hedgerow where they all weather horse training track was, still no good and after a while and little debate as to why the bird was not around I got back to my car with the intention of driving down towards Aunsby a bit and then have a sniff around Londonthorpe for Brambling after Graham had told me he had seen 1 or 2 there at the village end of Newgate Lane.

As I drove down slowly I heard Graham call me from the other side of the fence, they had it in their scopes, nice! I parked my car and walked down the lane on the ‘dark side’ I could see a bird perching high on a single stalk on the hedgerow. I got closer and it was the GGS, cool, my second sighting in the UK I think? I got to about 80 feet and took a few shots, the bird moved on a couple of times before then flying towards the sun to the next length of hedgerow across the fields. I got some shots but sadly was the wrong side of the sun to get detail, a little photoshopping has lifted the images a bit.
AisbyGGS12114 AisbyGGS12114b AisbyGGS12114c

Graham and I also saw 3 Red Kites, 2 battling in the air at distance and then a lone bird popped into our view flying closer but still a way off, pics below.

AisbyRK12114 AisbyRK12114cDo you think the other 2 distant birds are the previously mentioned Red Kites?

I moved on to Londonthorpe sat a while in my car awaiting the Bramblings but nothing, plenty of Great & Blue Tit activity but that was it. Graham had mentioned Bramblings had been seen in Church Lane too so I drove down to the dead end and turned my car around to see very briefly a Little Owl on a farm building roof, cool! I made way around and parked up where they is a public footpath sign and went to see if I could see the bird from the other side but no, plenty of Fieldfare, some Stock Doves, Feral Pigeons and Corvids only, still ‘nice to see though’ I thought to myself!

The Little Owl sighting reminded me of the pair that was at the end of Turnor Road off the High Dyke so this was my next port of call and what do you know 1 was visible and soon from inside the derelict barn another popped up too!  I managed a few shots from my car, seen below.
GranthLOwl12114b GranthLOwl12114c GranthLOwl12114f GranthLOwl12114g
Ever seen a boz-eyed Little Owl before?

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