Saturday, July 7, 2012

Our busman's holiday has continued with a few days of birding, ringing and a quick twitch. The smart male Red-backed Shrike at East Chevington was too close to ignore, so we went to pick it up for the year list and complete the three commoner shrikes hat-trick (watch out Tonk and Aimes, we're getting closer). We had a fantastic day's ringing around Teesmouth with a few wader pulli, including Rich's first Avocet, and fifty plus passerines including lots of Reed Warblers and dispersing juvenile warblers.

The East Chevington Red-backed Shrike was somewhat distant and seemed pretty happy to stay in the large patch of sheltered scrub down to the south of the hides. Considering that it is smaller than a Starling, this voracious carnivore is something of a monster, capable of taking small mammals, reptiles and birds along with its more usual prey of insects. The Germans call them Neuntöter, referring to the superstition that they only feed after they have killed nine creatures. (c) Richard Brown and Giselle Eagle

Avocet and Ringed Plover pulli. Productivity isn't looking too good this year, perhaps due to the attentions of local foxes. (c) Richard Brown

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