Corn Bunting breeding survey spring/summer 2008

singing male - Clifton Pastures June 2008

 


 In the Spring/Summer of 2008 I decided to conduct my own breeding survey to try and establish the true status of breeding Corn Bunting Miliaria calandra within the area. The survey area was the area either side of Barton Lane, Clifton Pastures and the Drift.

Fourteen singing males were found holding territory at various locations, but breeding was only confirmed at three sites. A map of the survey area is shown below. The Red dots show the location where singing males were found to be holding territory and the confirmed breeding location are marked with Blue dots.

All nesting sites were viewed from a safe distant and viewed with the aid of a telescope and minimal disturbance was always my main priority.

Map showing the Survey area.

 

March 2008

Barton-in-Fabis  12/03/2008  12 birds seen on wires on Barton Lane.

Barton-in-Fabis  23/03/2008  5 birds in hedgerow on Barton Lane

Barton-in-Fabis  24/03/2008  2  singing males on Barton Lane

Barton-in-Fabis  30/03/2008  4 singing males on Barton Lane/2 singing males on Gotham Road.

April 2008

Clifton Pastures  01/05/2008  5 singing males holding territory

Barton-in-Fabis  06/04/2008  9 singing males holding territory on Barton Lane/The Drift 

Clifton Pastures  10/04/2008  5 singing males still holding territory on clifton pastures

May 2008

Clifton Pastures  01/05/2008  single bird seen carrying nesting material

Barton-in-Fabis  22/05/2008  1 singing male and 2 possible females on Barton Lane

Clifton Pastures  24/05/2009  1 presumed female by nest site

Clifton Pastures  25/05/2008  male and female by nest site

Barton-in-Fabis  26/05/2008  1 singing male with 2 possible females on Barton Lane

Barton-in-Fabis  27/05/2008  2 females sat on nest only 100yds appart on Barton Lane

Barton-in-Fabis  28/05/2008  2 females still sat on nest on Barton Lane

June 2008

Clifton Pastures/Barton-in-Fabis  03/06/2008  12 singing males in various locations

Barton-in-Fabis  04/06/2008  2 birds seen taking insects to the two nest sites on Barton Lane

Clifton Pastures/Gotham Rd  07/06/2008  6 singing males

Barton-in-Fabis  07/06/2008  2 birds again seen taking insects to the two nest sites on Barton Lane

Barton-in-Fabis  10/06/2008  3 birds seen taking insects to the two seperate nest sites on Barton Lane.

Barton-in-Fabis  11/06/2008  6 singing males on Barton Lane

Barton-in-Fabis  14/06/2008  2 singing males and a single male seen mating with a female on Barton Lane

Clifton Pastures/Gotham Road  14/06/2008  9 singing males holding territory

Barton-in-Fabis  15/06/2008  3 singing males on Barton Lane

Barton-in-Fabis  22/06/2008  3 singing males on Barton Lane

Clifton Pastures/Gotham Road  7 singing males

The Drift  23/06/2008  4 singing males

Clifton Pastures/Gotham Road  9 singing males and 5 presumed females

July 2008

Clifton Pastures  03/07/2008  6 singing males

Clifton Pastures/Gotham Road  9 singing males

The Drift  06/07/2008  4 singing males

Barton-in-Fabis  08/07/2008  2 singing males on Barton Lane

Clifton Pastures  14/07/2008  5 singing males

Clifton Pastures  20/07/2008 5 singing males

The Drift  20/07/2008  2 singing males

Clifton Pastures  23/07/2008  5 singing males

The Drift  25/07/2008  4 singing males

Gotham Road  25/07/2008  female sat tight on nest at the side of the Gotham Road

Gotham Road  27/07/2008  female still sat tight on nest on the Gotham Road

Barton-in-Fabis  27/07/2008  4 singing males on Barton Lane

Gotham Road  30/07/2008  2 birds seen taking insects to the nest site on the Gotham Road

August 2008

Gotham Road  04/08/2008  1 bird seen taking insects to the nest site on the Gotham Road

Gotham Road 10/08/2008  nest site has been predited

Barton-in-Fabis 24/08/2008  8 Juveniles and 6 adults seen feeding in drainage dykes on Barton Lane.

 


 Corn Bunting Winter Survey 2008/2009

 

After compleating the spring/summer breeding survey I decided to see if the breeding population stayed in the same area throughout the winter. Birds were present in every month from October to February with numbers peaking to an astonishing 142 in the second week of February.

October 2008

Clifton Pastures  05/10/2008  11 birds seen going to roost in drainage dykes on clifton pastures

November 2008

Barton-in-Fabis  02/11/2008  2 birds seen on the hedge-row on Barton Lane

Barton-in-Fabis  09/11/2008  5 birds in drainage dyke on Barton Lane

December 2008

Barton-in-Fabis  06/12/2008  single bird on wires on Barton Lane

Barton-in-Fabis  07/12/2008  5 birds in drainage dyke on Barton Lane

Barton-in-Fabis  14/12/2008  6 birds again in drainage dyke on Barton Lane

Clifton  24/12/2008  14 birds seen in tree opposite the lark hill building site, they then flew over the road and began feeding on the large weedy mound

Barton-in-Fabis  26/12/2008  9 birds in field at the side of Barton Lane

Clifton  31/12/2008  57 birds sat in tree and feeding on the weedy mound next to the lark hill site

January 2009

Clifton  01/01/2009  30 birds feeding on the weedy mound, then fling over the road to the trees

Clifton  02/01/2009  25 birds on the weedy mound

Clifton  03/01/2009  12 birds feeding on the weedy mound

Barton-in-Fabis  24/01/2009  32 birds in field at the side of Barton Lane

Barton-in-Fabis  25/01/2009  7 birds in field at the side of Barton Lane

February 2009

Clifton Pastures  01/02/2009  2 birds on the pastures just at the back of the houses

Clifton Pastures  03/02/2009  18 birds on the pastures just at the back of the houses

Clifton Pastures  05/02/2009  a pure flock of C80 birds feeding on a set-aside strip near the Fairham Brook

Barton-in-Fabis  07/02/2009   7 birds on wires on Barton Lane

Clifton Pastures  08/02/2009  3 separate flocks of C70, C40 and 32 near the Fairham Brook with an estimated 142 birds in total

Clifton Pastures  14/02/2009  16 birds at the back of the houses at dusk, all then flew into a drainage dyke to roost

Clifton  22/02/2009  9 birds seen feeding back on the weeding mound but were soon disturbed by workmen from the building site and flew off over the Drift.

Clifton  24/02/2009  7 birds on the weedy mound but again disturbed by workmen.

 


 Conclusion on the status of Corn Bunting

The following spring/summer and winter survey would suggest that their is a small healthy resident population of Corn Bunting within the area. In the winter months it would suggest that the resident population is joined by birds from other locations to winter in the area.

This small resident population in now threatened by various Construction projects that are planned in the area. With a recent announcement that 5000 new homes are planned to be built on Clifton Pastures. The future now looks bleak for this already threatened speices.

 


 


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