Isabelline Shrike
Copyright Paul Gale

Isabelline shrike (first winter) at Holme, Norfolk, October 1996. Every autumn I look forward to the passage of juvenile Red-backed Shrikes through southern and eastern England as they head south to their wintering grounds in Africa. The red-backed shrike breeds in Europe, Scandinavia and west Russia. The photo on the right was taken at Portland Bird Observatory in September 1995. It was expert at catching wasps on the wing (see insert - with wasp in beak). Occassionally, the much rarer Isabelline Shrike (left and centre) also turns up. These breed in central Asia and are less barred and more sandy than the Red-backed Shrike. The rufous-coloured tail can be seen in the left photo. Both these young shrikes have the dark ear coverts which later turn black in adult males to give the characteristic mask.
First-winter shrikes

Red-backed Shrike (juv) on the Isle of Grain (Kent) in Sept 1999.
Red-backed Shrike

Click here for some more photos of this Isabelline Shrike in a ID Article

A juvenile Woodchat Shrike near Salisbury, 9 Sept 2001. The Woodchat is a summer visitor to the Mediterranean area, Spain and some of France. Note the white on the scapulas.

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