Saturday, 6 October 2007

Turkestan (Isabelline) Shrike, Yorkshire, October 2007

Usually distant and never particularly easy to photograph, Tristan Reid still managed a nice set of photos at Buckton in East Yorkshire on 2nd October. Some observers believed from the outset that this 1st-winter bird had features more in common with the extremely rare ssp phoenicuroides than the more common British vagrant isabellinus, and when the bird was eventually trapped by Buckton stalwart Mark Thomas, in-hand features confirmed the bird's true racial identity.

This is only the 9th British record of Turkestan Shrike out of a total of 70 accepted records of Isabelline Shrike up to 2005, though no doubt some records were indeed of phoenicuroides but overlooked as such during times when bird identification wasn't quite as complex as it can be today!

And to finish with some good news, as a result of local landowners kindly allowing safe parking in their fields for a small donation, this bird managed to raise a total of £651 which will be donated to the St.Catherine's Hospice in Scarborough.