Great Grey Shrike (Lanius excubitor)

Taken at Cholsey, Oxon., on January 26th 2013.
(1/500th sec at f14. © David Hastings)


L: 21 - 26 cm

The Great Grey Shrike is mainly light grey and white, with a black eye mask and hooked black beak. The wings are black with a fairly small white patch. The sexes are similar.

They are found quite widely in Europe, but are winter visitors to the British Isles.

They visit open areas, including heathland, farmland, scrub, clear-felled areas in forests, and coastal dunes.

They need perches from which to hunt, so they often sit on fenceposts and high up in trees.

Only a few dozen birds spend the winter in the UK.


03-Nov-2016 : Los Riscos, Spain (1)
26-Jan-2013 : Cholsey Marsh, Oxon (1)
24-Mar-2012 : South Leigh, Oxon (1)
18-May-2005 : Castro Verde, Portugal