Thursday, 8 May 2014

Woodchat Shrine

Dan again, with a rare but wholly justified second blog of the day... dedicated to the loveliness of this adult male Woodchat Shrike. Or perhaps it should be a Woodruff Shrike-- it was found by (birder-blogger of some renown) Pete Woodruff as he prowled along Dawsons Bank early this afternoon.

The birding grapevine worked well and soon myself and Willow Lane's best bird photographer Jo Bradley (top three pics) were admiring and snapping it as it hunted the hedgerows just inland of the bank.

As well as being a bonnie bird, it is of course a rare one too. This bird (a first for Aldcliffe) is one of the scarcest passerine species to be seen in the parish. The last local Woodchat was in Bowland back in 2009. For the previous area records (an adult at Heysham and a juv. at Leighton) we're talking latter years of the last millennium...

A overshooting spring migrant, this one will be hard-pressed finding a mate much closer than Toulouse, the species being most common in the Mediterranean. It certainly didn't look best pleased when a hefty dose of cold Lancastrian rain began to fall just after these pictures were taken, and it became a little elusive... sulking beneath bushes as the next bedraggled birders began to arrive.



Pete Woodruff said...

Yer posts are always an enjoyable and informative read Dan, but this one has to be even more so.

You do appreciate I should really have your mobile number, you were the first/only birders name I put to PJM when I rang him to tell about this beauty.

Excellent images, which I wouldn't mind for Birds2blog, but wouldn't dream of copying without the authors permit.

Jon Carter said...

Hi Pete-- Dan here. Congrats. Glad I live so close and could get on it so swiftly. Why don't you e-mail me on and I'll send you some piccies over-- as well as my number? Cheers, DH.