Friday, 20 April 2012

First red-backed shrike of the spring

There are still quite a few Turkestan shrike and Duarian shrike around in my local patch south of Riyadh.

I also saw two masked shrike yesterday but no more woodchat shrike.  All these shrike either winter here or are early passage species.

I have been waiting to see my first red-backed shrike in Saudi Arabia.

Turkestan shrike

Unlike the other shrikes mentioned , it is a fairly late passage bird. The historical recorders didn't see the bird until mid April but had found it flies through over a comparatively short period.  So I was on the look-out yesterday.

red-backed shrike

In the end I saw one but it was very flighty. It finally evaded me by flying into the nearest fodder field.

red-backed shrike in a fodder field

I suspect next week there will be tens but I am travelling away to bird over the next three weekends so my chances of seeing it locally were limited.

There was much more to yesterday's birding than the red-backed shrike. It included yet another lifer and this one came from a surprising quarter.

I'll blog about this tomorrow.

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