Try as I might I couldn’t haul myself out of bed early today. Whilst others were ticking Barred Cuckoo Dove and dancing a little mental jig at their success, I was wandering rather half-heartedly around LNEC, a sort of local patch. The light was abysmal. I sat in a favoured spot for an hour. Not a sausage. Worse, not even a bird.
I wandered the paths and spotted a small flock of minivets, probably scarlet. They were right at the top of a tree. Silhouettes. And then there they were gone, as we say in the valleys. Except one. And it wasn’t a minivet. A quick scan with the binoculars and a record shot to confirm Verditer Flycatcher. Some consolation I suppose but not going to help my BAD habit.
And then another bird, half hidden and against the light. A shrike!! And definitely not Long-tailed, the common local shrike. We started our pas de deux, the shrike shuffling position in the tree, yours truly shuffling on the path, desperately trying to get a better light angle (or right angle as the Chinese might call it) without causing the shrike to go off in a huff. At some point we compromised. The shrike stopped. I stopped. The shrike was a tad high. Or I was too low. It matters not. This was the result:
Good enough to be BAD but no cigar for this one.
The frustrating thing was that it flew shortly afterwards and I could not find it again. Nor the Verditer. The shrikes tend to favour the bamboo bean-canes but not today. Suddenly though the Long-tailed Shrike popped up. And so as a non-qualifying bonus BAD photo, here is the more colourful LTS.
No cigar here either. I don’t like the broken twig in front of the bird. Otherwise quite passable with a sweet background. So a day that looked as if I was going to fail miserably ended with a last minute rescue by a brace of shrikes.