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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.