Thursday, 3 February 2011

Shrike Stakeout and Caption Update.

With the sun shining I returned to Thursley Common today but didn't arrive until just after 10am.and there was barely a space in the car park ... did that indicate good news?

During my short walk towards 'Shrike Hill' I spotted the quarry perched on a low clump of dead wood silhouetted against the skyline but it promptly dropped to the ground and I didn't see it fly off anywhere. After researching the southern edge of the hill it reappeared at 10.50am. but only briefly before flying back towards the south-east at 10.50am. I spent the following 2 hours in the company of two other Surrey birders but we never found it again despite searching many likely locations! I wasn't able to get a photo but for anyone who doesn't know this species here is the relevant illustration from my Collins Bird Guide bible.
 Johnny Allan managed to get off a quick shot so please click his link to view the cropped image.

The suggestions for the Egyptian stare included 'Are you looking at me' (Pat) and 'And you thought I looked odd!' (Warren) plus 'Walking like an Egyptian' (Andrew) but I think the top slot has to go to Richard who was my first overseas follower and typically sent his response in the form of this amended image. 
I may try this again if I can find an appropriate image .... FAB.


  1. Hi Frank...better luck next time,and hopefully you will get your chance!!!
    A few years back a Northern Shrike
    spent the summer hanging out in my back yard. I wasn't sure what it was until one day it picked a little bird right of the ground. I was quite surprised at the deed, and was able to identify it from this happening!!
    Congrat's to Richard..very funny ..but I still like Andrews the best!!

  2. Great story and a very typical one for Shrike I think, a very wary bird.

    I've never had much luck with Northern Shrike (same sp. as your Great Gray I think)

  3. At least you got to see it, if only briefly Frank.

  4. Hi Grammie. A Shrike in the back yard .. now that would be something to cheer about even if it is a 'butcher' bird.

    Hi Mona. I agree.

    Hi Harold. Yes, same species and this one was definitely very elusive!

    Hi Roy. Yes I did.

  5. Hi Frank, sorry you did not get an image of the Shrike......frustrating.

    Love that caption......and love the image, so funny.

  6. There was one not too far from me some weeks ago Frank, it hung around for quite a while but I wasn't able to get there :( I really would have loved to.

    Lovely to see the Bullfinches on the previous post!

  7. Hi Cheryl. I didn't expect to be able to get anywhere close ... that's birding. Yes, Richard has my sense of humour and produces those 'balloons' at will!

    Hi Jan. Sorry you didn't get to see your local Shrike...I can fully understand why. It was a delight to stand just feet away and watch them feeding. Just a pity there were lots of branches in the way! Take care.

  8. Glad you at least got to see the Shrike. What a fantastic bird. They are quite rare around my town too. I would love to see one, much less photograph one!

    Haha...I can see Richard's imprint all over that photo! Very funny... Time for me to play catch up again. How many posts have I missed?

  9. Hi Carol. Good for a chuckle or two.

    Hi Kelly. I have seen a few over the years .. the closest when I
    was abroad but wasn't into photography!!
    Yes, Richard usually comes up trumps
    Quite a few, I guess ... you might like to look at the White Nun.

  10. Very clever captions. Sorry you did not get the photo of the shrike! I have been searching for shrikes here in Massachusetts to no avail. I use to see the Loggerhead shrike regularly when I lived in AZ.

  11. Ha ha ha ha:) A very good interpretation of a face expression;)

  12. Hi Kathie. Keep searching and I'm sure you'll find one before they move to their summer quarters.

    Hi Joanna. Glad you enjoyed that one.


I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.


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