Thursday, 31 July 2014
RED-BACKED SHRIKE on Quainton Hills
This fabulous male RED-BACKED SHRIKE was found by Tim Watts on Quainton Hills late morning and remained present for the rest of the day. Tim, Warren, Laurence and I enjoyed some beautiful views of the bird as it hunted in the late afternoon sunshine from the hedgerow on the top of the West Slopes, just 100 yards west of the transmitter. In addition to a number of beetles and Bumblebees, it also caught an adult Long-tailed Field Mouse and was particularly active. The local family of Common Kestrels took a dislike to it, attacking it on an umber of occasions and forcing it to dive into dense cover. Representing the first record for the site, this was also the first adult male to grace the county in over 40 years. A stupendous find, but then Tim is one of the most prolific bird-finders in the county - extremely well done. The area also held 4 COMMON REDSTARTS, a few Willow Warblers, Lesser Whitethroat and 2 Northern Wheatears.