Red-backed Shrike in a Hawthorn Tree (Lanius collurio)
Words and picture by Matt Sewell
With conker-red wings, club-like beak and a long tail that disguises the fact that they are not much bigger than a House Sparrow – so smaller than their cousin, the great grey Shrike, but every bit as hawk-like and brutal. Their skewered mammal kebab shops have given shrikes a bad name – in fact, in Germany they were called the Destroying Angel. Wow, that certainly is a bad name for somebody who is a very welcome visitor. Just don’t tell the local animal population that they’re coming.
Matt’s beautiful new book Our Woodland Birds is out today and is available from our shop, priced £10.