Sunday, 26 August 2012

Bank Holiday Bonus - Red backed Shrike

A strange morning on the Orme really, but a memorable one! The first hour was grim with not a passerine in sight. 2 Arctic Skua and a handful of Manx Shearwaters were the only birds of note. Rob Sandham and Kelvin Jones were ringing down in the cemetery so I went and joined them. Not five minutes later, 2 cracking sparrowhawks - a 1st year male and a 2nd year female hit the nets and the next quarter of an hour we were treated to two superb Sparrowhawks in the hand.

After that excitement, Rob pointed out a flycatcher at the back of the cemetery and as we both watched it, it dawned on us that this was no Spotted Flycatcher - it was a cracking juvenile Red-backed Shrike! The bird showed quite well for ten minutes or so before flying over the top of the cemetery and off towards the sheep fields. I managed a few dodgy pics before it disappeared:-

Funnily enough, about an hour later I picked the bird up again, some half a mile from the cemetery, sitting on fence posts in the sheep fields. The local Meadow Pipits soon put pay to that and off it continued west. Best of the rest included the first Yellow Wagtail of the autumn over, Goldcrest and a Grey Wagtail. The R B Shrike is the strangely the first record for the Great Orme, with 3 Woodchats, 3 Great Grey and an Isabelline already on the list. Lesser Grey, Brown, Long-tailed or Masked anyone?


  1. I'm sure it was a spot fly an hour before and it was definitely one 16hrs previously in the same bush too! Good job we looked twice.

  2. Long-tailed Shrike would do very nicely lads. We'll even forgive you for nicking all our migrants. Hilbre managed 1 Yellow Wagtail & 1 Wheatear yesterday.

  3. Still nicking all our migrants. I predicted Greenish on Hilbre yesterday but it flew right past us!