Empire Shrikes back!

RB Shrike 2

Stunning male Red-backed Shrike arrived today

RB Shirke 3

Showing well…on top of the Beacon!

1 RB Shrike female

And a female caught and ringed!

Sunday 5th June comments; It’s not over yet. As we celebrated the start of June and the month for seabirds, we shouldn’t have ruled out even more scarce migrant birds turning up (spring isn’t over yet!) And we were not disappointed as this morning the island hosted not one, but two Red-backed Shrikes!

These former British breeders (known as Butcher birds for their predatory skills whilst impaling prey on thorns or spikes) arrived early morning with a male discovered by the lighthouse whilst a female was trapped and ringed in the low trap soon after. It’s been a good spring for scarce and rare birds on the island and this is the 3rd-4th Red-backed Shrikes this year.

Alongside this the island had a scattering of migrant birds arriving including a very unseasonal Yellowhammer (normally only recorded in early spring and late autumn) whilst 10 Crossbills flying south over the island was another highlight. It’s certainly been a productive season so far and long may it continue!

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