Photo of the Week: 2-8 October 2023


Red-tailed Shrike and Goldcrest by Alex Penn



Nature can be cruel at times and it was certainly not kind to this migrant Goldcrest which, having just crossed the North Sea and arrived on Fair Isle, was picked off by the continuing Red-tailed Shrike that has been on the island for more than a fortnight now. Birders are well aware that shrikes are adept and opportunistic hunters, yet capturing such an intimate image as this nonetheless causes a shock, for such behaviour is rarely caught so well on camera. Alex Penn did very well to remain calm and composed as the shrike hunted arriving migrants in the island's geos – this must have been a thrilling scene to witness – and has managed to produce this brilliant POTW winner that shows off both the key identification features of both the shrike and the crest, as well as documenting some fascinating behaviour.


Other notable images


Great Cormorant, Uyeasound, Unst, Shetland (Robbie Brookes).

Great Shearwater, Scillonian crossing, Cornwall (Peter Garrity).

Forster's Tern (centre), Arne RSPB, Dorset (Ian Curran).

Curlew Sandpiper, Marano Lagunare, Friuli-Venezia Giulia (Raffaele Cargnelutti).

Grey Phalarope, Utsira, Rogaland (Andreas Gullberg).

Semipalmated Sandpiper (left) and DunlinFrampton Marsh RSPB, Lincolnshire (Toby Collett).

Common Buzzard, Porthgwarra, Cornwall (Peter Garrity).

Red Grouse, Ballyclare, Antrim (Ian Dickey).

Northern Wheatear, Kessingland, Suffolk (Nick Appleton).

European Stonechat, undisclosed site, Wiltshire (Geoff Snowball).

Black-and-white Warbler, Bardsey Island, Gwynedd (Steven Stansfield).

Veery, Lunna, Mainland, Shetland (Rebecca Nason).

White's Thrush, Bressay, Shetland (Donald Hutchins).

Written by: BirdGuides