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Spikes and feathers

31 October 2022

The postman has delivered the latest report from the Carmarthenshire Bird Club.

It is of course not a complete picture of what is going on birdwise in the county but a useful series of snapshots and some local curiosities such as the Woodchat Shrike which put in a brief appearance in June in its capacity as a “vagrant” on the common land above Rhiwiau called Mynydd Ystyfflaucarn.

SN 46863 26671 –

The shrike part of its name reflects the shrieking it apparently can do – and look at the Lanius part of its Lanius senator name and there is a reference to the habit of this genus to practise a sort of butchery – that is to impale prey onto a spike – though the Woodchat Shrike isn’t that inclined to do this compared to some of its relatives.

A vagrant species is basically one you wouldn’t expect to be here – blown in or off course. The Woodchat Shrike is normally a southern European or African bird. Here is a picture taken in Spain lifted from Wikipedia. What a beauty.

By Charles J. Sharp – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
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