Great Grey Shrike, Lanius excubitor on Helgoland

During a trip in the 1st half of October 2012 to experience migrating birds on Helgoland several remarkable sighting could be noted. Just one sighting very short. A beautiful Great Grey Shrike, Lanius excubitor, could be seen in perfect light in the afternoon of the 13th of October in the area of the former Suedhafen (southern harbor) of the tiny offshore island of Helgoland in the Northern Sea, roughly 50 km out of sea from the shores of Friesland. Later on there were seen 2 more individuals on that day. On the next days, Sunday, the 14th and Monday, the 15th of October only 1 Great Grey Shrike could be seen on Helgoland.

This was the first sighting for the fall migration. The last observation of the Great Grey Shrike has been on the 17th of April on that island. Although not a regular sighting on Helgoland, the Great Grey Shrike does not qualify to be rare enough to be listed in the category “Rare birds – day by day” as you can see on the superb website of the Ornithologische Arbeitsgemeinschaft Helgoland e.V. (OAG)

In his „Handbuch der Vögel Mitteleuropas“, Band 13/II „Passeriformes, Sittidae – Laniidae“ Urs N. Glutz von Blotzheim mentioned that migration of the Great Grey Shrike, Lanius excubitor, (also called Northern Shrike), at the coast of the Northern Sea has been reported between Mid of September until beginning of November with peaks in the 1st half of October. In so far the observation fits perfect. In general it is said, that fall migration at the coast of the Northern Sea is on a low level not exceeding more than a few birds.

More birds could be seen on that trip as a Booted Warbler, Hippolais caligata, or a Black-throated Thrush, Turdus atrogularis, (resp. Dark-throated Thrush, Turdus ruficollis). But this is a topic of a blog to come very soon.

To cope with the growing demand for top shots of the rarer species of the Palearctic Bird-Lens is keen to enrich the range of pictures of birds you can find in the western palearctic.  Trips to remote places like this one to capture images of rare birds of western palearctic were very successful. The nice images you find in the gallery are only a first impression, what you will find in the gallery in the “Pictures Shop” very soon. Just give me a message, if I could serve you with an image needed before the new pictures are online.

Other successful shootings you can see under: in the pictures shop.

1 comment

  1. Jochen Dierschke said: “…..Great Grey Shrike: was not the first in the fall, because we ringed one at 11th of Octobre 2012….” (“…..Raubwürger: War nicht der erste in dem Herbst, da wir am 11.10. einen beringt haben…..”)

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