Back from the near-dead – the charismatic butcher bird


A rare sighting of a red-backed shrike, notorious for its habit of impaling its victims in a grisly larder

The first sign of autumn appeared the moment we arrived. A spotted redshank, resplendent in its dusky breeding plumage, stopping off on my Somerset coastal patch as it headed south from its Arctic nesting grounds.

But the start of July is far too early for any songbird migrants. So along with my companion Daniel, whom I met on our very first day at grammar school, almost half a century ago, I simply enjoyed the fine weather, and its associated marbled white and meadow brown butterflies.

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July 17th, 2017 by