Saturday, 28 August 2010

Red-backed Beauty

A trip out to Biggleswade this afternoon, as a Red-backed Shrike had turned up on the Common, and as I had only seen 2 others before it sounded too good to miss.
I parked at The Lodge and walked across the fields to where I could see a lot of cars parked up. I had obviously parked in the wrong place, but whatever it was only a mile or so.
Just as I arrived at the car parking place Malcolm and Carolyn turned up, so we walked down together.
The bird was showing extremely well, down to about 30yards and at one point flew just over our heads to another part of the hedge. It was an adult female and in superb condition. We watched it catch and eat moths and grasshoppers and at one point it was seen to remove a grasshopper from it's beak with it's claws before coughing up a pellet and then consuming it's prey.
Malcolm and Carolyn were kind enough to let me use one of their photos. Other photos and a short video can be seen on

On the way home I stopped to scan through a 200 strong Gull flock near to the Kempston bypass. This consisted of mainly Lesser-black-backs, but also a few Black-heads, a couple of Herrings and 9 Yellow-legged.

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