Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Corn Bunting

A patch-twitch with baby in tow was required this morning, after a text from Phil alerted me to the presence of a singing Corn Bunting on Beer Head. A fine reward for Phil who - despite the dire returns he, and everyone else along the south coast, are getting from looking for grounded migrants this spring - is still giving Beer Head a daily wander.

With-baby twitching!

I only had a short amount of time and managed what can only really be described as 'untickable views'...

A brown streaky blob!

But this experience for me was all about the sound, it was a real treat for my ears. Although he was tricky to see when I was there, he was a he, and he was very vocal indeed! Hearing that distinctive 'jangly keys' song at a place I've been birding at for so many years was really quite special. Such a thrill, thanks Phil. This was my second Corn Bunting on the patch, with the first also at Beer Head back in September 2010 found by Gav.

I had another look for the bunting later in the morning after it had showed well for others, but couldn't see or hear it during a 45 minute look. There were very few migrants about too with just a westward trickle of Swallows and a lone female Wheatear...

Since my last post, I may have gained a bit of a tan, but I haven't seen all that many birds. Reed Warbler and hirundine numbers have increased, a male Lesser Whitethroat has been singing by the entrance of Black Hole Marsh since last Thursday, and the 20th saw the best Willow Warbler passage of the spring with good numbers flitting through Beer Head during a late morning visit.

I really hope there's a lot more of spring 2018 to come, and it's not the case that this is just how spring birding is going to be from now on...


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