Monday 24 March 2014

Corn Buntings

Plenty of sunshine and some good birds - can't be bad!

Some of my time on Saturday was spent gulling at Shawell and Sunday morning I shared my time between looking for Corn Buntings in the west of Leicestershire, doing my bit of the 'winter thrush survey' and starting to look at the Peregrine survey.

I found five singing Corn Buntings at the regular sites and also a few pairs of Grey Partridges and a single male Wheatear. The large arable fields prove quite popular with Wheatears at this time of year as the crops are quite short allowing them access to the soil to look for food.

I only managed to get a record shot of one of the Corn Buntings. Unfortunately I didn't find one that would let me approach closely in my car. A few years back I was able to drive up close to a singing male, but that one no longer appears to be in the area. In fact I can no longer find any near Orton-on-the-Hill these days.

This year the Leicestershire & Rutland Ornithological Society (LROS) are conducting a survey to try and establish how many Corn Buntings are still to be found in the counties. Please send any records to Steve Lister the county recorder CONTACT DETAILS

Corn Bunting

A Pair of Grey Partridge
At Shawell, on Saturday, the gulls were playing hard to get, but just before lunchtime they appeared on mass. Several thousand pitched down on the lagoons, which was quite a sight. No 'white-wingers' this weekend, but there was one very sleepy second-winter Caspian Gull. The bugger woke up while I was dozing off and ran to the top of the bank. Once I woke up and relocated it, it posed just long enough for a quick photo before disappearing over the bank.

Sleepy Caspian Gull
Second-winter Caspian Gull - the one with the nice long legs at the back

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