Brown shrike in Belgium, first ever


This 25 October 2019 video from Heist in Belgium says about itself:

NEW FOR BELGIUM: Brown Shrike – Lanius cristatus

The first Brown Shrike for Belgium ever, a spectacular adult male!

Translated from Belgian daily De Standaard today:

The brown shrike was spotted in Heist on Friday, reports Natuurpunt. It is the first time that the bird is seen in Belgium.

On Friday bird watchers discovered a brown shrike in Heist. This brings the number of bird species found in Belgium to 452.

The species is originally from East Asia. In 1985 a specimen was discovered for the first time in Europe, more specifically in Great Britain. Later the bird was also noticed in other European countries, such as Denmark, Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Norway, Spain and Sweden.

In the Netherlands, the species has been spotted four times, the first time in January 2014, the last two times this month. The species was also seen in France and Sweden, and it was this species’ first time in North America this year.

Other species

It is not the first rare bird species that was detected in Belgium last month. On the coast, for example, an isabelline wheatear, a Pallas’s grasshopper warbler, a red-eyed vireo and a Daurian shrike could already be noticed.

Why such species are seen in Belgium is not entirely clear, but according to Natuurpunt it is not surprising that they are discovered in the coastal area. The North Sea forms a natural barrier that most songbirds do not like to fly over, and in the harbour area there is bright light at night that attracts the birds.

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