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Woodpecker






Category: BIRDS AND BEASTS.

Source: Welsh Folk-lore

The woodpecker's screech was a sign of rain. This bird is called by two
names in Welsh which imply that it foretold storms; as, Ysgrech y coed,
the wood screech, and Caseg y drycin, the storm mare.

These names have found a place in Welsh couplets:--

Ysgrech y coed!
Mae'r gwlaw yn dod.

The Woodpecker's cry!
The rain is nigh.

Bardd Nantglyn, Robert Davies, Nantglyn, has an englyn to the
woodpecker:--

I Gaseg y Drycin.

Och! rhag Caseg, greg rwygiant,--y drycin,
Draw accw yn y ceunant,
Ar fol pren, uwch pen pant,
Cyn 'storm yn canu 'sturmant.

Barddoniaeth R. Davies, p. 61.

My friend Mr. Richard Williams, Celynog, Newtown, translates this stanza
as follows:--

Ah! 'tis the hoarse note of the Woodpecker,
In yonder ravine,
On the round trunk of a tree, above the hollow,
Sounding his horn before the coming storm.

Yellow Hammer. (Penmelyn yr Eithin).

There is a strange belief in Wales that this bird sacrifices her young to
feed snakes.





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