Tuesday, 22 March 2011

GG Shrike with impaled prey on Hutton Roof - Tues 22nd March 2011

(please click on photo to enlarge, then click again to supersize)

Went up on Hutton Roof yesterday, looking for Great Grey Shrike but without any sightings.
Steve managed to find a dead Common Lizard within 50 metres SSE of the Trig, on the side of the pathway.
6 Fieldfare called in at some trees quite close to the Dalton Woods/Dalton Crag (deforested area).
Today went up on Hutton Roof again and watched the GG Shrike for over an hour where it moved first from a tree near the gate as you enter the Common, quite close to the boundary wall on the Lancelot side, then we lost it and then re-located whilst having a rest at the Trig, it was on the top of a large hawthorn in a North East to the Trig, then seen to fly further across to the North, then back to the North East to a low hawthorn where it was seen to go down for prey. Then watched carrying mouse (vole or shrew!) to yet another hawthorn which was only 35 metres SSE of the trig where it seem to go to ground. I then saw it 20 minutes later on a large hawthorn to the first right right hand side more or less in the path which goes from the Trig South. On inspecting the tree where the Shrike seemed to go down and dissapear for a while, the mouse was there well and truly impaled. I was suprised to see it had not impaled it on the outer edge of the tree, but some 12" back into the tree which was just a complete maze of "nasty" hawthorn needles, so how the bird actually managed that I really dont know, its must have been like "houdini" and it was making sure nothing else got into its larder......
Then watching the bird for yet another 30 minutes, this time back into its "favourite tree" on the other side of the wall (Dalton deforested rotting timber piles area).