The migrants have arrived! In urban settings, the most commonly encountered winter visitor from the north is the Brown Shrike. Local birders make it a point to record - and of course, post in Facebook - their FOS (First of Season) sighting of this species. We are a part of that group.
The past week or so, during our more or less regular walk around our subdivision (read: physical exercise), my wife and I were always on the lookout for this migrant bully. We saw one a couple of times then but I was too lazy to bring my camera with me. Yesterday, Cynthia reminded me to bring my photographic gear so that we can "officially" prove the presence of Lanius cristatus in our neighborhood.
We were nearing the end of our walk and still had not seen our target bird. My wife suggested, as a consolation, that we just focus our attention on the Olive-backed Sunbird family that is a sure find as they frolic among the yellow bell-shaped flowers along Astoria Street. As soon as we got to that place, the very first bird we saw was....a Brown Shrike! It was so cooperative that it was I who gave up taking its picture.
As expected the Olive-backed Sunbirds were there, too. It was mostly the immature ones that posed for me.
Not too far from there, a pair of Zebra Doves were busy feeding on the street.
There were the usual Eurasian Tree Sparrows and Yellow-vented Bulbuls nearby as well but these were the "trash birds" of our subdivision that I no longer felt obliged to capture their images.
Anyway, being successful in recording our FOS Brown Shrike, with a couple of bonuses all in one spot, my enthusiasm for birding seem to be migrating back to my soul again.
Gedau Estate, Sandakan
14 hours ago