|juvenile Turtle Dove at Knepp Wildlands|
Just when we were wondering how to spend the last few hours of the afternoon, news emerged of a Red-backed Shrike near Hailsham so I left Darragh to continue the quest for butterflies and shot off for East Sussex without much thought. Once on site, it became clear that I might well not in fact be on site... I realised that the directions were in fact extremely vague and the bird could theoretically have been at any point miles along Hurst Haven. I tried the Hailsham end, logging Cetti's Warbler, Reed Bunting, two House Martins, a Treecreeper, two Swallows and a Sparrowhawk, before deciding the bird was most probably actually seen at the opposite end of the haven. A 15-minute drive later, I only had half-an-hour to spare but checked what habitat I could, coming up with a Lesser Whitethroat, seven Swallows, a Reed Bunting and three Meadow Pipits but again no shrike.