Isabelline Shrike - Lanius isabellinus speculigerus - Тольт дунхай
The Isabelline Shrike is named after its plumage - isabelline, the colour of sand - and eats insects, small birds, rodents and lizards. Hunting from a prominent perch, it stores its food by impaling captured items on thorns or barbed wire. By range (image obtained in breeding habitat in the breeding season) this is the eastern speculigerus sub-species.
The photograph was taken at the Ikh Nartiin Chuluu Nature Reserve (Ikh Nart) in the Dornogobi Aimag or East Gobi Province of Mongolia. Established in 1996, Ikh Nart covers an area of about 660 square kilometres of grassland and semi-desert steppe.
Just below Ikh Nart's main research camp a spring bubbles up through the sand. The fresh water attracts many birds so I propped a stone perch next to the pool and waited for photographic subjects to appear.