Shrikes had been a common sight when I first started birding some 8-9 months ago but had disappeared during the monsoon. The band of grey-black covering the eyes reminded us of masked bandits. The species that I have seen so far are the Grey-backed Shrike, Long-tailed Shrike and the Brown Shrike. I still have great difficulty in distinguishing between the first two. These birds were a boon for a novice birder cum photographer like me as they often perched on middle level branches and gave me an opportunity for those all important eye level shots. Although I must hasten to add that they can be an absolute pain as they act as sentinels and warn all other birds in sight with their harsh calls. The Grey-backed Shrike is the one with the harshest call while the brown shrike is relatively silent.
Here's to the Return of the Masked Bandit!!