Northern Grey Shrike

29th October 2012
The Northern Grey Shrike that winters on the Beacons has returned again, It's great to see him safe and well. I would love to know what he's been up to and where he's been. I'm fascinated by the travels of birds like him, I feel like I know him after these few years but he will only tolerate my presence up to a point then off he flies.
The secret to getting a reasonable shot of him is to quietly manipulate which Hawthorn bush he perches on. I don't even bother to take a shot of him against the sky, because he appears washed out in the silhouette. I move around until he has perched on a bush with the Beacons behind him, the mountain is the only object big enough to provide a background to stop silhouetting. Then with the sun behind me and the bird against the distant mountain I can get a reasonable shot. Although the Beacons are in the background they just appear as a smooth backcloth to the shot, that is the advantage of a large prime lens with very little depth of field.
Please see UK Birds, Cuckoos, Shrikes and Waxwings.