Friday, 20 February 2015

Great Grey Shrike hunting behaviour

The first Curlew of the year goes to Roger with a single on Screetham Lane on Wednesday whilst Ken and Mick Taylor recorded the first local Red Kite of the year on Flash Lane on Tuesday.
The Great Grey Shrike has become very attached to the Triangle on Beeley Moor during the past 10 days spending most of its time on top of the medium heigh (2m to 4m) Birch trees. Watching the ground intently it is swooping down every 4 or 5 minutes to take something which it eats in seconds on the ground before returning to either the same or a nearby tree. It's not been possible to see what it's taking but I would guess it probably small beetles of some kind. There will be caterpillars around but I think it would most likely carry these back to it perch to eat and wouldn't have time to eat them on the ground as it is doing.
If anyone has seen what it's feeding on I would be interested to know.
It has been seen hovering on occasion and Ken got some great photos in the sunshine about a week ago.
Great Grey Shrike after its prey
Great Grey Shrike hovering (c.Ken Smith)

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