Friday 19 December 2014

Bunting Diversity Continues!

This afternoon I checked an area which has had up to three Cirl Buntings wintering in recent years which is significant in this part of Devon. Soon after arriving, I heard the distinctive tsip call of a Cirl Bunting and located two females, but after searching the nearby wider habitat I was amazed to count a minimum of 11 birds in one single group! Bizarrely, for no apparent reason shortly after finding the flock, five of the birds flew off high to the east and I lost them to view. I don't know when the last double figure counts of cirl buntings in East Devon was? Guess it is quite a few years?

There has been a migrant bird in Dorset in recent days at West Bexington, but I am not aware of any others? I look forward to seeing if the flock stays in the area. Be great to see them breeding in this part of Devon again......

Three of the eleven cirl buntings

Five of the eleven cirl buntings


  1. Very interesting stuff Chris, certainly to a Dorset birder like me. As you well know CB a monstrous rarity in Dorset. Two recent sightings at West Bexington and Cogden Beach may not have related to the same bird? (week apart). There was a sighting a few years ago behind the beach at Abbotsbury as well. I spent some time looking at Cogden at the weekend but the amount of suitable habitat is astonishing and I saw nowt. This species obviously likes the habitat in this area and I cannot believe they won't become more permanent here eventually; your sighting gives us hope!

  2. Thanks for your thoughts Bomber. The group of 11 birds is still around, so fingers crossed they remain. Here in East Devon the amount of stubble in particular is quite daunting and to think I have had 11 Cirls, 1 Corn Bunting and a Lap Bunt in such a small area and short time does make you wonder what is really out there! Perseverance will no doubt pay off in Dorset! Fingers crossed for 2015.