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I have to admit I had a little trouble choosing an image for this month. I have been rather spoilt for choice after a fantastic trip to Cyprus filled with beautiful orchids, other wildflowers, lizards and butterflies.

After much deliberation I decided that I really had to share this photograph of a rather splendid Masked Shrike (Lanius nubicus). This trip was my first encounter with these wonderful birds which are summer migrants to Eastern Europe. Having been perhaps a little over excited initially to see one I was even more thrilled when we continued to find them almost every day.

This particular individual was sitting close to the side of a little track that we were driving down and was very obliging when we stopped the car to admire him. He continued to sing for a short while before hopping deeper into the undergrowth and eventually flew when another vehicle passed us.

Canon 60D, 100-400mm lens, F8.0, 1/320, ISO 250.

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