Friday, 25 May 2012

Emberiza schoeniclus

One of the first "rare" birds that I ever saw was Emberiza schoeniclus or Reed Bunting. In those days rare meant that it appeared in the Observer's Book of Birds but not in my garden. As a result they have always had a place in my heart and, of course, the males are stunning birds.

At this time of year they are easy to see as they are in breeding mode and spend most of the day perched on their favourite song post rattling out their song. Back in the 1970s a friend of mine did a PhD on their song and found that it is in two parts. The first section is common to all Reed Buntings and basically says "I am a Reed Bunting" and the second part is unique to each individual ie their signature. Now a lot of people don't know that. But I digress.

The best local place for Reed Buntings is King's Meads and I was not disappointed.

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