Butcher birds like to pounce on their prey

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Kent Business Update -

Last week, Dun­geness Bird Ob­ser­va­tory war­den Lee Gre­gory found a red-backed­shrike at the Long Pits. This is a scarce bird in Bri­tain, with only a few pairs that breed ev­ery year – al­though more au­tumn birds are seen as young birds mi­grate south.

This in­di­vid­ual was also a young bird and would have bred in east­ern Europe or Rus­sia and was slightly blown off course from its win­ter­ing grounds in east Africa.

Ev­ery early au­tumn a num­ber of young red-backed Shrikes are found along the east coast of Bri­tain.

Shrikes are known as butcher birds and have a ten­dency to catch moths, mice and small birds and skew them on thorn bushes or barbed-wire fences for later con­sump­tion.

They like perch­ing on top of bram­ble bushes and pounc­ing down on their prey.

This young bird had a chest­nut back and tail, more scal­loped un­der­parts and a slightly hooked bill.

It did not hang around, but the next day two birds were found at Recul­ver in north Kent, so keep an eye out wher­ever you are in Kent over the next few weeks.

For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact Owen Leyshon, Rom­ney Marsh Coun­try­side Part­ner­ship, tele­phone 01797 367934 or log on to www.rmcp.co.uk

Pic­ture: Steve Ash­ton

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