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.
Subscribe to "UK Safari News" for weekly wildlife updates like this
Discover what's out there today with our free email newsletter
Simply enter your details and hit send