Posts Tagged ‘Little Bunting


A Very Little Bunting

It’s not often you come across what could potentially be a first for a breeding bird for the UK.

What were presumably the pair of Little Buntings that were found in March on the North edge of Kelling Heath spent some time subsequently further south in ideal breeding habitat. They were chasing one another and displaying and I watched what was presumably the male feed what was presumably the female.

With help and advice from friend Trevor of the North East Norfolk Bird Club (NENBC), the land trustees, the RSPB and the Secretary of the Rare Breeding Birds Panel I attempted to monitor the birds.

The longer they stayed the more convinced I became they were breeding. In eventuality however they moved on. Towards the later part of their stay they became very furtive and returned repeatedly to the same area. They were last seen on the 19th April. Subsequently, despite several thorough searches they couldn’t be found.

So they either deserted, moved to a different location or all the display behaviour they showed was just a pre-amble to them moving back North to breed; which to be fair is most likely what happened, although we’ll never know for sure. Never the less, a very interesting occurrence.


Not so Little Bunting

This Little Bunting was frequenting the paths around Porthellick Bay on our recent visit to the Isles of Scillies this October. It was just one of several we heard/saw but was by far the most confiding.


Six Stripe Sprite

There’s something quite special about living on the east coast, a stone’s throw from the sea. Migrating birds apart, living in West Runton is very nice indeed; but especially so when the autumn wind is in the east and I can walk out of my front door and within 400m be watching three Yellow Browed Warblers, a handful of Redstarts and a Little Bunting. So it was last week. Well, I say ‘watching’ a Little Bunting. When asked ‘were we watching the Little Bunting?’ friend Bob replied … “It’s that little we can’t bloody see it” It was probably the most elusive individual of the species I’ve seen. It sat tighter than an Extinction Rebellion activist, hardly shifting from it’s field of Sugar Beet. When it did move it exploded from one patch of mugwort to another low and fast; as if it were on a zip wire. It did show for me eventually … but not well.

It was however the Yellow Broweds that made my day. I absolutely love seeing these little Siberian migrants. I’m not sure if it’s their bright plumage or the way they jauntily flit about picking-off every small insect they find. Maybe, it’s the fact they have travelled all the way from Northern Russia and crossed the North Sea that I find so incredible. Anyways, I really do think they are enigmatic and worth seeking out in the few weeks each year they pass along our coast. Terrific birds.




A day of Little

Little is sometimes more. On last Saturday’s tour we had a little something; in fact we had two little something’s.

The first came in the form of an ocean dweller pushed ashore by overnight northerlies. Little Auks are normally seen hugging the horizon on seawatches, whirring their tiny wings as they stream across a spotting scopes field of view. Not this one. He made a rather unfamiliar sight gently sailing around obscenly close to us on a shingle pool as he recovered from his ordeal.

The second came in the form of a Little Bunting. A denizen of lands to the east of Norway this scare visitor had made temporary home feeding upon the seed heads of weeds aside a busy footpath; both small, but both quite special.

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Jun 2023


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