Great Grey Shrike  Lanius excubitor

Ivinghoe - 6th -8th October 2008


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hotos copyright Ashley Stow

This bird was initially found by Mark Simmons who is the National Ttust's Regional Farm &
Countryside Advisor
who had seen the bird close to the Trust's land near Steps Hill.  The news of a probable Great Grey Shrike was posted on the email group on the 7th and the bird was relocated by Steps Hill/ Ivinghoe Beacon regular Mike Wallen (on the 8th).  The news was quickly put out and several birders managed to see the bird during that day.

This bird is a first winter bird as indicated by the faint scalloping on the breast, pale bill and a half grown tail.  Ashley's lower photo shows the bird coughing up a pellet which would contain the remains of it's prey.

For details of previous records of this species click here.


Princes Risborough - 9th -16th January 2008  (at least)


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hoto copyright Dave Cleal

This bird was first seen briefly by Richard Birch but not sufficiently well to confirm ID.  Then in early January David Lee came across the bird while carrying out BTO census work.  The bird remained elusive although it has been seen by several local birders since.


Quainton Hills - 8th October 2007 - 10th February 2008 (at least)


Photo copyright Jean Costello


Photo copyright Tim Watts - 12th Jan 2008

First seen and photographed by Jean Costello on 8th October.  It was perched next to a track that runs from Boltoph Claydon and Quainton Hills.  What was no doubt the same bird "found" by Quainton regular Tim Watts (who had no knowledge of the first sighting) on 14th October.  The bird was again seen on 21st October, this time by Steve Norman in the same area as the previous week.

After that the bird was not seen, despite searching, until 29th December, when it was re-found by Tim Watts.   The bird was also present on 30th and 31st enabling several Bucks listers to catch up with this scarce Bucks bird.  The bird was again seen on several dates until 13th January 2008 (at least).


Grendon Underwood - 18th-24th January 2006

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Above photo copyright Mike Wallen

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Above two photos copyright Adrian Parker

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GGSwire1-400.jpg (14148 bytes)
Photos copyright Tim Watts

This bird was found by Gareth Leese and is the first in the county since January 2004.  It was actively feeding using the hedge, wires and telegraph pole as watch points.  At one point it was seen to catch a mouse.  It also flew precariously close to a passing lorry.  The bird was last seen on 24th January.  For details of previous records of this species click here.


Turville - 14th February 1988 

Great Grey shrike2.jpg (26826 bytes)
Photo copyright Mike Wallen

The individual above stayed in a area very close to the pretty village of Turville (as seen in the comedy series "The Vicar of Dibley") from 24th January until 13th March 1988, where many birders managed to see it.  It often frequented a Hawthorn hedge where it had a larder.  This species used to be annual in the county but there has only been seven records since the Turville bird.  

During it's stay a Mediterranean Gull was found in fields near Fingest and some birders were fortunate enough to see this bird on the same day.  Up until 1988 there had only been 16 Mediterranean Gull records in the county, while there had been nearly 60 Great Grey Shrikes!  How things change.

Any further pictures of this individual would be greatly appreciated.