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Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Mega Shrike!


On our return journey from Scilly, we had to drive past the village of Stanwell and the hot news was that a Brown Shrike, a species normally seen in Eastern Asia (I'd seen them in China way back in 1999) had taken up residence on Staines Moor next door to Heathrow Airport!
Dawn on Sunday 18th October saw us walking down the lane to the Common, where we viewed a scattering of bushes across a river. We saw a Franco there a well known local birder, so named because he looks just like the Spanish dictator! He was exceptionally helpful in putting us onto the bird which had just emerged out of roost of a particularly large bush and all we could see was it's face peering out of the Rosehips near the top of the bush. It then hopped up into view and started to feed flying from bush to bush giving good but mid- distance views. (Apologies for the poor image quality)
The bird looked very brown backed (much browner than on Red- backed Shrike), with a thick black face mask seen behind the eye, the primaries of the bird were an even darker brown
We also saw flocks of 5 plus 17 Ring- necked Parakeets flying overhead also coming out of roost.

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