With the sun trying to get through this afternoon and lighter winds of late I called in at Reculver after work to see if I could connect with the Montugu's Harrier that has been around since Monday. I walked along the path behind the Oyster farm noting 2 Shelduck, 8 Oystercatcher, 1 Cuckoo, 2 Reed Bunting, 8 Swift, 2 Tufted Duck and 2 Shoveler. I ended up at the Green Wall junction where I started scanning for the Harrier. The phone soon went with Sue Morton alerting me that Pauline McKenzie-Lloyd and friend who I had just walked past a few minutes earlier had found a male Red backed Shrike on the bushes in the Oyster farm. I quickly hurried back and met up with them where they informed me it had flown into a bush. We waited a few minutes before it flew out and landed in a blossom tree and there it was in all its glory, a stunning male Red backed Shrike (152). This is only my second ever male in Kent and my first Spring Reculver male. Pauline and friend left me to it and I set about trying to get a few shots of the bird. I didn't want to get too close as others were coming so eventually got into a position where it made its way to the outer most branches and posed for a few minutes in the sun.
I managed a few pleasing images of the bird before it again moved into the middle of the bush but thankfully Sue Morton, Chris and Anne Hindle arrived in time to get nice views of the Shrike as it made its way slowly east through the bushes and shrubbery.
Red backed Shrike
After this excitement I moved on back to look for the Harrier and thankfully not long after a Carrion Crow flew over the field and seemed pre occupied with something in the field. A few seconds later and the ring tail Montagu's Harrier (153) took flight and flew around briefly allowing me to grab a few distant dodgy efforts before it circled again and dropped out of sight.
What a couple of great birds for the local patch and hopefully the weekend will continue to deliver a bit of quality at Reculver, I wouldn't say no to a Bee eater! For some reason the Shrike shots appear to have loaded looking quite noisy. They don't look quite like this on my computer!