Friday 8 September 2023

Ortolan Bunting!

On Wednesday 6th September, I felt like I needed a break from my daily checks of LORP, as despite it looking great for waders it still seemed to be attracting very little in the way of passage waders. Therefore I decided to head up to the West Cliffs and Budleigh Golf Course.

Wryneck was very much on my radar, as there had been a large influx into the SW recent days and the hedgerows in this area of the Golf Course look so good. However, literally the first bird I saw in the hedge was a male Cirl Bunting, a species I have never recorded up here, so a great sign birds are spreading! It then became apparent as I walked along the nearby hedge that there were at least 10+ birds in the vicinity including many juveniles. Then in with the flock I was suddenly stopped in my tracks by a bunting with a striking eye ring, pink bill and clear creamy sub-moustachial stripe - Ortolan Bunting! 

This was a bird that I had always hoped to find on the patch, but I had always imagined it in the stubble fields to the east of Otter Head. It just shows how important it is to mix up your birding sometimes and try something different to your usual routine. I was certainly glad for the change of scene and what a great morning!

Cirl Bunting and Ortolan Bunting together on the patch!

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