Breeding status
First Record
Last Recorded

Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor


The breeding stronghold of the Great Grey Shrike occurs from Fennoscandia across into Russia. Birds breeding north of 60 degrees north desert the breeding areas entirely and migrate to central and western Europe in winter. It is a rare passage and winter visitor to the Bailiwick.

The first Bailiwick record is from Alderney where a bird was shot sometime during 1888. This bird was in the collection of L.J.A Langois and the record was published in Ibis by Thompson (Thompson 1915). The next, and first for Guernsey, was shot at the St Sampson's Marais on 23 October 1915. This was put in the Guille-All├Ęs collection but the skin has long since disappeared. There are only two other old records from Guernsey, one seen near the Reservoir on 31 March 1947 and another bird seen at Havelet, St Peter Port, on 28 May 1949. Rountree records only one record from Sark, involving a bird in in the area of the Barracks, Little Sark on 25-29 March 1969 and again on 8 April 1969. It was noted that this bird had no white on the wings.

There were no further records until the mid 1970s. A bird spent the winter in the Foulon/Dell Nursery/Vimeria and was seen from 10-25 November 1974 and 1-25 January 1975 and this or another bird was seen at the Grande Mare from 23 February to 28 March. The following autumn two records were received but again may have been the same bird. One was seen at the Reservoir from 31 October until 23 November 1975 and this, or another, in the Talbot Valley on 30 November. A bird was again back at the Reservoir on 22-23 February 1976. This series of records may involve just one wandering individual that returned the following winter. Bisson treats it as five separate records.

Since these wintering records there have only been two further records in Guernsey: singles at Pleinmont on 13 October 1985 and 13 October 1989.

View database records (1)
Great Grey Shrike Mt. Herault 31/10/1995 1