The South Gare Shrike bushes

The "Shrike" bushes, is an area of the gare which is near the slag plateau also known as the Quarries. This part of the Gare consists of a small marsh now mostly overgrown with Phragmites. There are also bushes that can hold small birds during migration periods. The insect laden elders and sycamores give some of the warblers a chance to refuel before they set off again. This is especially so if they have been blown off-course by easterly winds and have become disoriented.

The Shrike Bushes at South Gare - 12.8Kb Red backed Shrike - 6Kb Willow Warbler - 5Kb

Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio Photo Iain Leach Reed Warbler
Acrocephalus scirpaceus Photo Chris Brown

This is one of the places to check out during periods when migrants could be on the move. Autumn, is perhaps the best time to see passage birds in these bushes. The majority of the bushes have been planted by birders over the years. The species seen here have included quite a cross section of woodland birds such as Blackcap, Garden, Willow Warbler, Chiff Chaff, Pied, Spotted and even Red-Breasted Flycatchers. Other rarities have included Icterine Warbler, Marsh Warbler, Ortolan Bunting, Common Rosefinch and Spotted Crake in the nearby marsh.