Friday, 23 September 2016

Red-backed Shrike and a Starling

Red-backed Shrike, juvenile, Lanius collurio
Yesterday I visited the Tide Mills reserve at Newhaven to see the juvenile Red-backed Shrike which has become famous. It has become practically extinct as a breeding bird in Britain with occasional migrants appearing from the continent. There were plenty of enthusiasts around and I was amazed at how obliging the bird was. It appeared to ignore the visitors and perched on the top of brambles and buddleias, looking around for insect prey. Every so often it dived to the ground and returned to its perch with prey. I saw a bee, a wasp and a green cricket in its beak at various times. It flew within a few feet of me and landed close several times. A fresh Common Blue nectared in the area and I also saw a Large White, Small Whites and Red Admirals. A Starling perched on a nearby pole and a Little Egret fished in the creek.
Common Blue, Polyommatus icarus
Duke of Argyll's Teaplant, Lycium barbarum
Little Egret, Egretta garzetta
Little Egret with fish
Red-backed Shrike, juvenile, Lanius collurio

with green cricket
swallowing the cricket

with a wasp

with a bee (totally in shadow, hence the poor photo)
wiping the bee against the thorns

Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
Wild Carrot, Daucus carota

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