Tuesday 4th January 2011
Today the Mrs and I followed up a "report" of a female cirl bunting east of the river Otter and came up trumps with two for the price of one!
This is very exciting news as generally, cirl buntings east of the Exe are very scarce, despite it having previously been a breeding bird in this part of East Devon during the 1970s. It would seem the prolonged snow cover in most of Devon forced these somewhat "lazy" birds to move further than usual in search of new feeding areas. RSPB cirl bunting research has shown that most cirl buntings stray no further than 2Km between breeding and wintering sites.
Fingers crossed these birds hang around and find a suitable breeding site nearby to help expand the already vulnerable range due to the decline in mixed farming.
Winter stubbles, grass margins and good hedgerows are the key to succcess!
Somewhat drab, but still distinctive female