Saturday 11 October 2014

The Bird's Eye Shrike

In keeping with the ongoing Shrike theme, I headed out of Norfolk and down to Lowestoft, Suffolk where a long staying juvenile / first winter Red-backed Shrike has been showing nicely behind the pristine backdrop of the Bird's Eye fish finger factory - it doesn't get more glamorous than that!
Anyway, I arrived at 2pm (having spent the morning doing 'chores' at home). The bird was showing on and off, but the overcast and slightly cool weather meant it perhaps wasn't as active as it had been earlier in the week. Also, having been around for a few days now it wasn't feeding as voraciously as it must have done upon its arrival. A lot of the time it spent perched on the same branch watching for prey items, dashing out after some hapless bee, catching it mid-air and returning to the same branch to knock its sting out and devour it. Problem was its favorite branch was just a little too far for good shots. Still, I waited in the same spot and it did eventually approach to within a reasonable distance.

Red-backed Shrike, Ness Point, Lowestoft, Suffolk
Shortly after though the showers began and this put paid to any decent photo opportunities. The bird maintained its preference for the same branch, using it for a time to give itself a good wash down!

Havin' a wash in the heavy downpours!
With the on and off rain, I decided to sit in the car and use this as a hide. Meanwhile the bird continued to deplete the local bee population but sadly I didn't succeed in improving on my earlier shots.

One less bee in Lowestoft
At around 5.15pm as the sun sank behind the Bird's Eye factory, I saw the bird sit a little deeper into the brambles and puff its feathers up, I presume it was getting ready to roost. The light was gone too so I packed up and headed off. Tomorrow is another day!

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