Posts Tagged ‘Cirl Bunting’

Cirl Buntings

Posted: October 20, 2020 in Birds, Natural History
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Some more pictures from the archive. This time of some Cirl Buntings, a rare UK bird once only found at one site in South Devon. Thanks to wintering feeding there is now an expanding population in the SW. These photos were taken on a trip to Broadsands Bay.

Cirl Bunting

Posted: March 21, 2019 in Birds, Devon, Natural History, UK
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The Cirl Bunting is at the northernmost edge of its range in the UK and is found in the south-western counties. 10 years ago they were restricted to one or two isolated areas in Devon and it was feared that they may die out. The introduction of supplementary winter feeding programmes has boosted the number of birds that survive through the winter months and so are able to breed the next year and this has been responsible for a significant upturn in the population, such that they are now expanding into the neighbouring counties of Somerset and Cornwall.

Cirl Bunting

It is now estimated that there are around 900 breeding pairs in the UK.

Broadsands Bay

Broadsands Bay

Keith and I have made the journey down to Torbay in Devon for a few days birdwatching. On our first day, we make our way to Broadsands Bay in hope of Cirl Bunting. I last saw this bird at the southern tip of Devon about 25 years ago. At that point, it was just hanging on and many people thought in would become extinct in the UK. Thankfully conservation organisations along with local enthusiasts decided to try and reverse this situation and although it is still limited to south Devon and east Cornwall, the population is now healthy. One of the key sites for winter roosting is at Broadsands between Brixham and Paignton.

We began by walking along the bay. Northern Fulmar and Northern Gannet were flying out in the bay, but there was no sign of the Divers or Grebes which had been present the previous week. Great Cormorant and European Shag were seen close to the cliff face.On arriving at the Cirl Bunting site we began to search the hedgerows for these attractive birds with their Yellow and Black Striped heads and it was not long before a male was found in a tree. Over the next hour, we were treated to some excellent views as they perched in the hedgerow.

Cirl Bunting

Cirl Bunting

Cirl Bunting

Cirl Bunting

Cirl Bunting

Cirl Bunting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Towards lunchtime, it began to go quiet and so we decided to walk back along the coast to Brixham. why is it that maps don’t show the ups and downs!!! It was much harder than we anticipated but eventually, we made it back to Brixham where we saw another European Shag in the harbour along with a large flock of Herring Gulls.

Shag

European Shag

Herring Gull

Herring Gull

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Fulmar [sp] (Fulmarus glacialis)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus)
European Shag [sp] (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Goldcrest [sp] (Regulus regulus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
European Stonechat [sp] (Saxicola rubicola)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Cirl Bunting (Emberiza cirlus)