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Dick Turpin

  • Sun 7th Apr, 2019

The wind was wild, whipping the tree tops into a frenzy, it's waves rushing through the forest canopy, temporarily drowning out all chance of catching bird song. It's ferocity chased the clouds away and the bright blue rivalled the sun. A warm, but wild wind, which left the heart giddy and made you want to dance, like the trees.

And even though those long dusty tracks, the forest highways, were deserted, we could enjoy our carefree hearts, as it was us tracking the highwayman.

Great Grey Shrike © Steve RaceGreat Grey Shrike © Steve Race

It was his domain, but we had a tipoff regarding his hideout and determination on our side, so it wasn't long after we had found the clearing that he showed himself, disguise and all. That tell-tale black eye-mask of the infamous bandit, the great grey shrike, whose pearly grey and white identify him so clearly.

Great Grey Shrike © Richard BainesGreat Grey Shrike © Richard Baines

He flew from low to high, taunting us with his agility to stay still against the strong wind, but he let us see him and watch for a long while. He stood proud, as carefree as we, enjoying the wind, safe in the knowledge that we would never find his hidden treasure trove of less fortunate beasts.

Susie O'Neill

Susie works for the RSPB based at the Bempton Cliffs Reserve. She is also a local author. We are very pleased at YCN to welcome her on to our writing team, look out for more encounters on our news section soon! You can read her YCN profile Click Here.