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Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Elephant in the Library, Shrike on the Marsh

At noon today, a member of the Gorleston Nature Club brought in a Hawk Moth caterpillar which he wanted identified, he had very perceptively put in a piece of Fuschia plant and flower with it. Having seen one in the garden before, I knew it was an Elephant Hawk Moth larvae.
It was feeding on the Fuschia leaf, the main food plant for this species is Fuschia and Honeysuckle.
I managed to get a few shots.

A BINS message at lunchtime about a Red- backed Shrike on Carlton Marshes saw me down there at 6.30pm in the evening and just past the first field on the left from the car park, we looked out west over the meadow towards 3 bramble bushes. Danny P, Justin L, and Chris M were amongst the birders looking over the area. It hadn't been seen since 4.40pm, we were joined by Clive N & Dick W. After an hour Dick & I decided to check the area out from the western side (the sunny side). We had no luck but we had good views of a Barn Owl patrolling the area. Clive then rang to say he had the Shrike and as we walked briskly back, 4 Jay flew away along the path. Reaching the spot by the gate we walked west along the edge of a field and looking back along the bushes, Dick did well to pick out the excellent male Red- backed Shrike, a fine summer- plumaged adult male with grey head, black mask and reddish- brown mantle perched slightly within the bush. We enjoyed the views for a few minutes before leaving the bird go into roost within the scrub.

4 comments:

Paul Woolnough said...

Elusive! Decided against a trip across Norwich from the north side and down the A146 to see it, starting 430pm. Saturday perhaps.

Peter Ransome said...

Great bird, certainly worth the effort, Paul. The bird has been present for at least 5 days. The original finder is well known for not putting news of his finds out!

Paul Woolnough said...

I have seen five of the six shrike species on the Suffolk county list. Only red-backed in Lizardland. Need great grey!
Rare Suffolk shrikes
Lesser grey at Shingle Street
Woodchat this year at last
Isabelline (blocker!)Boyton 1997
Southern grey - Holland on Sea only
Not many have all six!

Peter Ransome said...

Well done on the Shrikes, I've also seen in suffolk; Lesser Grey- Bunker's Hill, Lound, Woodchat this year, Carlton Colville & the North Denes both some time ago Isabelline at Boyton (same bird) and Pallidostris Shrike- Southwold.
Peter