As a schoolboy and junior member of the Witwatersrand Bird Club way back in the day I found an active, Crimson-breasted Shrike nest not far from where the Kyalami racetrack is today.
The find aroused a great deal of interest within the Club and, for me, indelibly stencilled it’s image and ‘buzzy’ contact call notes in my memory as an iconic favourite of mine.
Since then, I have enjoyed many a repeat sighting throughout the arid savanna but never one of the rare ‘yellow’ breasted colour morph as illustrated in the first SASOL field guide published in 1995, until fairly recently when birding good fortune played a part!
The first encounter was west of Kimberley, and the second last year in the Mashatu Game Reserve in the eastern corner of Botswana.
Both were photographed, albeit not particularly well due to distance and intervening branches, but clearly identifiable as yellow morphs and equally impressive as the ‘regular’ crimson-breasted form of the species as portrayed in the accompanying image selection for comparison.