Monday, 2 May 2016

Help....shrikes about!

Since my first post about the birds outside I've learned a lot more! They are very aggressive and are continuously flying at my windows and I went looking for first identification and then helpful advice!
The original identification seems correct. These are I think red backed shrike.
According to several bird books they are fairly rare visitors to these shores every spring.
They like cliffs by the sea with fir trees and overhead phone lines!
Every summer I am used to seeing swallows lined up along the phone lines but these colourful visitors never! It is however the explanation to my car covered with white poo every morning! It used to be parked under the phone line!
One entry in the RSPB website says there are only twenty pairs a year in this country....if this is true I've got a tenth of them....there are two males hitting my windows!
I have consulted a local farmer who tells me he has never heard of my problem before.....but they have a gruesome reputation. They kill smaller birds, various large insects and impale them on thorns close to their nests in a gruesome larder!
In the hedge close to my house are many small birds. Tits, wrens, robins are all happy residents. Now these colourful aggressive visitors are chasing them all out!
Nesting in my chimneys are huge birds. Ravens or crows....I'm not sure which but we have lived in peaceful coexistence for years.
I am wondering if the crows would chase off the aggressive little birds...
The local farmer offered me his air gun!
It's no wonder they are so rare....they don't exactly make friends !
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