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Huge Corn Bunting Flock in Beds

29th January 2010

Numbers of Corn Buntings have declined by almost 90 per cent in the past forty years, but this week a flock of 700 of these rare little birds has been seen in one farm field in Stotfold, Bedfordshire.  It's believed this extraordinary flock represents around 4 per cent of the entire UK population.

Conservationists were initially at a loss as to why so many buntings had gathered in one place, but it's now thought they were attracted there by the sweepings and unsalable leftovers from a barley crop, spread over the field by the farmer.

Of course hungry predators have no respect for red list species, and a flock of this size is bound to attract some unwanted attention.  While there is strength in numbers, these corn buntings are no match for the speed and agility of a bird of prey.  You might have noticed the female Merlin in the third photo (above) ploughing into the flock.

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