Turkestan (Isabelline) Shrike - Turkestanklauwier

Turkestan (Isabelline) Shrike


Lanius (isabellinus) phoenicuroides

Pictures: Teus Luijendijk

When nobody expected, this bird was discovered in the famous dunes of the isle of Texel. Whether it was an extremely early arrival, or an example of a summering bird not detected before, was subject of discussions among birders. Whatever the answer, it proved to be a confiding bird showing most if not all characters typical for the taxon phoenicuroides. As main pointers for identification as such could be mentioned:

  • 'cold' white underparts with only some apricot tinge on the flanks.
  • a well defined black mask with a broad whitish grey supercilium.
  • no warm colouration to the back, instead a definite greyish tinge.
  • rufous crown (although this was not visible from all angles), somewhat contrasting with the brown-grey back.

    The tail was somewhat puzzling, as the outer feathers were much shorter than the inner ones, suggesting recent moult. This can be clearly seen on most pictures.

      Turkestan (Isabelline) Shrike  -  Turkestanklauwier  Lanius (isabellinus) phoenicuroides  adult summer; videograbs
      Bleekersvallei, Texel NH, The Netherlands, 14 August 2002.


    Copyright ©Teus Luijendijk 2002