Spot the difference:
Similar, no? One obvious conclusion for potential Woodchat Shrike finders is that you need to find a wire fence with wooden posts, on the east coast in early June!
The top bird is the first-summer female at Winterton North Dunes, which I saw with Nick late morning on Sunday. As we birded our way back home to London down the east coast, we were looking at a couple of Glossy Ibises at Minsmere when news broke of another Woodchat, this time at Walberswick, just up the road. It would’ve been rude not to go and have a look, no?
The Winterton bird is clearly a 1st-summer female (probably the most washed out I can recall seeing), given the pale orange-toned crown and nape, and the greyish mantle and scapulars. In the field, I reckoned the Walberswick bird was a 1st summer male (and it’s been reported as such elsewhere), given the much more richly toned crown – but without more reading, I’m not so sure how you’d rule out an adult female. If anyone has a definitive answer, please let me know.
Satisfied with a two-Woodchat day, and some pleasantly warm sunshine for a change, I confess to getting slightly distracted by this:
… and then, naturally, this:
… before continuing on homewards, stopping only to continue the alliterative theme with an excellent Wood Warbler at Sutton Common, near the site of last year’s Roller. It showed extremely well, calling and singing from relatively low perches.
Finally, >click here< for a recording of the bird singing. This was taken from a video on the 7D – I’m pleasantly surprised by the quality of the mic and resulting audio! Definitely worth remembering if I ever find anything good giving interesting calls…