I was hanging out the washing when I heard some birds giving an alarm call in the neighbour’s tree. There was quite a raucous going on, so I knew the birds were trying to defend their nests or chicks from a predator.
Perched right on the top of the tree was a bird that was causing all the trouble. However, squint as I might, it was too far away for me to make out properly. I thought maybe it was a bird that I haven’t seen around our garden for a very long time.
I went back to the house to fetch my trusty Canon camera and took a few shots on maximum zoom, hoping that when I enlarged the photos later on my laptop I’d be able to make out what the bird was.
And there you have it. It was a Fiscal Shrike, also known as the Butcher Bird here.
He was a little tricky to identify from underneath, as you can only see the white chest and a little of the black back and head. The adults have a lovely white stripe in their wing feathers when seen sideways on, or a white V shape from above.
We used to have a resident mating pair in our garden. The young chick would be seen begging for food, sitting on the fence, or the pole of the rabbit enclosure.
The photo above shows what I was working with and why the images are blurred. Yes, the Fiscal Shrike is sitting right on top of that tree!
I know they get a bad rap, as they eat other birds’ eggs and chicks, but they are beautiful and I have missed them.
You can listen to a short clip of the Fiscal Shrike singing here.