Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Mediterranean comes to Canvey!


A taste of the Mediterranean at RSPB West Canvey Marsh today, with warm sunshine and a Woodchat Shrike. The shrike was found mid morning by a couple visiting this new RSPB reserve, and identified late morning by RSPB staff.  Woodchat Shrike is an annual vagrant to the UK, this striking bird will perch prominently on top of hedges, trees and fences regularly dropping to the ground to feed. It's prey is mainly insects, beetles, damsel flies, dragonflies, grasshoppers, wasps and bees. During the last ten years Woodchat Shrike has been recorded on only ten occasions in Essex. In bright sunlight this Canvey visitor displayed a black forehead, a broad patch around each eye contrasted with a fiery chestnut-red hood on the rear crown and upper mantle. While oval shoulder patches provided further distinctive field marks.



Woodchat Shrike - West Canvey Marsh - Tony Coombes

Woodchat Shrike - West Canvey Marsh - Tony Coombes