Great Grey Shrike (Lanius excubitor)
The wanna-be raptor who wears a mask to conceal his identity amongst his fellow birds. Perched up high he surveys his plot before dropping down on his prey, be it mammal, insect or another bird. They then preserve their quarry impaled on the barbarous barbs of a blackthorn bush; this is their larder and this is what gives all shrikes the gruesome sobriquet of The Butcher Bird!
It’s great to have Matt back on the site after a way too long period of absence. UK readers may have spotted him on Countryfile last night (soundtracked by the song by Doves that gave us our name) if you missed it you’ll find it on the BBC iPlayer.