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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Renowned for their Larders

The butcher bird, or shrike, is given to impaling its prey on ‘larders’ of barbed wire or branches. As noted in passing in my review of Simon Armitage and Tim Dee’s The Poetry of Birds, here.


Mark Granier said...

Read the review. Sounds like a nice anthology. I was in Stephen's Green yesterday and was surprised that the lake was still largely iced over. Maybe you can tell me what this bird is? A wader or rail? I've seen it before and feel I should know the name, but cannot find it online (in the Wiki selection of Irish birds, etc.). Black and white, short red beak and big yellow legs. See here:

More of the Green here:

puthwuth said...

A moor-hen, surely.

'I count those feathered balls of soot /The moor-hen guides upon the stream...'

Lots of oystercatchers too along Sandymount Strand at this time of year, I noticed, the other week.

Mark Granier said...

Yes, a moorhen! I actually thought that's what it might be, but didn't trust my instinct enough when someone else said I was wrong. I have a couple of good bird books, including that dual Irish/English one that was published over a decade ago, but they've been temporally misplaced in some shuffle or other.