All morning I’d been watching Yellowhammers, also known as yellow buntings, as they arrived to feed on a mound of spilt wheat, and with 40+ sightings in three, fours and fives, I reckoned on at least 20 individuals involved in the comings and goings. Having caught a couple of the yellow buntings Emberiza citrinella I’d taken the nets down when a text came through about a rather rare Rustic Bunting Emberiza rustica glimpsed on migration through Heysham, about 25 miles from my ringing spot on Rawcliffe Moss. Just as well I took a couple of pictures, the buntings I caught were definitely of a yellow cast rather than a rustic hue.
In addition to the Yellowhammers I also caught 4 Goldfinch, a single Chaffinch and a Linnet. The Linnet was a recapture from a ringer elsewhere - Y376420 anyone?
The light was so gloomy this morning I had to use ISO800.
Linnet Chaffinch Goldfinch Rustic Bunting - permission of Kjetil Hansen
The murky, grey, overcast morning with a hint of a south easterly produced little in the way of visible migration again, the most notable being a loose flock of 40 Fieldfares mysteriously heading due west. Maybe the Rustic Bunting got caught up in the same weather trajectory and went west to Heysham instead of north to Scandinavia?
The photograph is by kind permission of Kjetil Hansen of Norway, a place where Rustic Buntings are fairly common.
Other sightings this morning: Still a winter flock of 100+ Chaffinch, 40 Linnet, 15 Goldfinch, 2 Jay, 2 Buzzard, 1 Tawny Owl, 1 Corn Bunting, 4 Reed Bunting, 2 Grey Partridge