Sunday, 6 October 2013

Sometimes 'Less' is More!

With news breaking late last night of a Lesser Grey Shrike at Sheppey, a bird I have never seen before, I hoped that it would stick around for a visit today. Thankfully it did just that and after the early brigade broadcast the good news that it was still present I arranged with Phil Parker a visit to see this Kent rarity, the last one being seen I believe in 1995. Phil picked me up and c40 minutes we arrived at a very sunny Sheppey. The weather could not have been any better, bright sunshine, little wind and pleasantly warm. We took the stroll towards the other birders we could see in the distance before eventually we arrived and was put on to the Lesser Grey Shrike and what a stunner it was. At first it was feeding on the floor and when back on looked very Wheatear like but it soon flew up to the bushes where it was seen catching a wasp and impaling it on a spiky branch before going back a few minutes later to eat its lunch. Through the scope I had excellent views and at some angles a hint of a washed out rosy breast could be seen. As can be seen from the worst shots of a Lesser Grey Shrike you will ever see, it was a little too distant for the SLR camera. You may even need a magnifying glass to see the bird in the photos! Normally these would be binned straight away but on this occasion a record shot is better than nothing. After enjoying the bird along with a rapidly growing audience Phil and I left for home very contented indeed with a super bird added to our British and Kent lists. Hopefully October will continue to deliver a few more quality birds.

Lesser Grey Shrike 


  1. Yes, I had one like that, never mind, you will get a better one

  2. Makes me wonder whether it's the same bird that was near Sizewell a couple of weeks back.