la roque gageac

Dordogne Wildlife Diary

  • Great Grey Shrike

    It's unusual to find a Great Grey Shrike in Dordogne. They do occur occasionally in winter and seem to hang around for a few weeks or even months on a winter territory, before making their way back to breeding grounds in the spring. Normally if a "grey shrike" turns up in Dordogne it is a Southern Grey Shrike. These birds nest along the Mediterranean coast, whereas the Great Greys nest in the Massif Central and further east.

    A couple of weeks ago my friend Michel Hoare found a Great Grey Shrike near Beaumont, so whilst I was on a birding trip with a friend looking for Wallcreepers on the Vézère cliffs, we decided to make a short detour and return home via the shrike site. Following Michel's advice we checked the electric and phone wires and before too long found the bird. A fair bit paler than the Southern Grey Shrike but with very similar behaviour. Dropping down on the ground from the wire to capture prey before returning to the same position on the wire or nearby. As the sun was dropping low in the sky, it also semed to be basking in the sun to warm itself before going to roost. My friend Graham Lobley managed to get some photos of the bird to confirm the ID.


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Welcome to my Dordogne Wildlife Diary

In it you will find regular wildlife sightings in the département of Dordogne, notably of birds and butterflies in southern Dordogne where I live. In adddition there will be occasional references to neighbouring départements such as Lot et Garonne, Gironde, the Lot and places further afield. Check out the Faune-Aquitaine website for the latest wildlife sightings in Dordogne and Aquitaine.

Where possible I will add photographs to illustrate the entry. Many thanks to Margaret Mills (family photo) and Denis Cauchoix (birdwatcher photo).

I hope that you enjoy my diary and look forward to your comments.

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