Sunday, 15 April 2012

Woodchat v bush chat

Today (15/04) was just amazing! At one stage there were 10 migrants flitting around the heli-deck- 2 subalpine warblers, 2 woodchat shrikes, 1 orphean warbler, 2 turtle doves, a redstart, a rufous bush chat (robin) and a large hippo warbler sp. which I thought was probably an olivaceous- although I would really like for someone to put me right on that ID if possible?! Apart from the turtle doves everything was either being chased by or mobbing the shrikes. It was a manic birding session for me as at one stage I had a shrike, a subalpine and the RBC in my view finder! The most amazing contest was between one of the woodchat shrikes and the rufous bush chat, with the shrike repeatedly swooping at the chat which indignantly held its ground whilst frantically flicking it tail and wings- an awesome sight!

It took me about 10 minutes of watching 'the' shrike in action before I realised that there were actually two birds, with the lower photo showing a bird with a significant white patch behind the eye and less staining on the flanks and belly.  A few moments later both birds were on view at the same time.

A rufous bush chat (robin) is a bird that I have always wanted to see and I was not disappointed with this bird- it has a wonderful tail flicking action and was remarkably confiding when the shrikes were not harassing it. 

rufous bush chat

And finally some desperate shots of the very shy hippolais sp. that refused to show itself clearly.



  1. ... and the wind blows in yet another fine selection of refugees!

    Thanks yet again for the update.

    1. If only the wind would blow a bit harder and push some north of the English channel!