Friday 26 December 2014

The twelve birds of Christmas - part five

The ninth bird

Thanks to a liberal supply of meal-worms, the Burnham Norton Southern 'Steppe' Grey Shrike not only stayed around long enough for me to twitch, but also afforded close enough views for some decent photographs. Personally I didn't feel there was too much of a deal to be made by giving it some meal-worms, but trespassing on his Lordship's land to erect a nice posing perch was a bit cheeky (if that actually happened).
Depending on which literature you consult 'Steppe Grey Shrike' pallidirostris is either a subspecies of Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor or Southern Grey Shrike Lanius meridionalis. Either-way not a full species, but that doesn't matter. Still a very striking looking bird and it had come from a long way away. Ladies and Gents, I give you.........The Steppe Grey Shrike!

Southern 'Steppe' Grey Shrike, Burnham Norton, Norfolk

Taken on a tripod at f5.6, ISO640, shutter speed 1/200 and focal length 700mm

The tenth bird(s)

Once more this is two birds rather than one, but same species on the same day, one female, one male, one in Norfolk, one in Suffolk.........but both were stunningly beautiful.
It was a typically late autumn arrival of Desert Wheatears, and was almost three years to the day when I first ticked the species on Bray Head, County Wicklow, Ireland. In Lowestoft, Suffolk, a male flew towards me and posed on the sea wall. A short drive away a pretty female posed on the beach at Gorleston-on-sea, Norfolk.

Male Desert Wheatear, Lowestoft, Suffolk - November 2014

Taken on a tripod at f5.6, ISO400, shutter speed 1/1000 and focal length 700mm                       

Female Desert Wheatear, Gorleston-on-sea, Norfolk - November 2014

Taken on a tripod at f5.6, ISO200, shutter speed 1/400 and focal length 700mm                              

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