Sunday, 29 September 2013

Red-backed Shrike at West Canvey

13th September 2013

There had been a juvenile Red-backed Shrike at West Canvey for five days now so, as it seems fairly settled, time to investigate. It didn't bode well. Despite the forecast it was pouring with rain when I left and during the whole journey, but miraculously stopped as I drove into the car park.

I could see two birders about 150 yards away, both peering through their camera viewfinders, but from that range impossible to see what they were photographing. As I made my way over, I kept on stopping and followed their line-of-sight, expecting to see the shrike perched somewhere in the middle of the field. Still no sign. I got nearer and nearer and it was only when I reached them that I realised that the bird was sitting on a fence post just 20 feet in front of them. Unbelievable.

I had to move fast as showers were looming on the horizon and, despite the poor light, did manage to shoot off 200 shots before it started to drizzle. Here are the best.

This is my favourite as it is not only a decent close-up of a Red-backed Shrike, but also my first ever shot of a Roesel's Bush-cricket which can easily be identified by the yellow crescent on the pronotum.

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