Today was one of those 'soft' days. Mild, calm, dull and a bit misty.
Two Boulmer visits today. This morning I was walking the dog along one of the old runway tracks and flushed a Kestrel ahead of me a couple of times. He eventually flew across the corner of a stubble field and disturbed an unseen bird into the air, calling as it went. Although it was close to me I couldn't see it but fancied that the call was from a Lap Bunting. Disappointed, I realised that the bird was going away from me at a speed and I was not going to get a second chance.
As there is another large stubble field in the direction it was going, I made a mental note to check the area later. On our way home I spotted Rob at the village and let him know of my suspicions and left to go to the dentist.
On my way home later I got a message from Rob saying that he had seen the bird but it was elusive and he could do with some support. I collected the trusty terrier and headed off to the field (bumping into a grocer on the way, see new link, left). We walked a line right across the stubble lifting the odd Skylark and Grey Partridge before a group of about 10 Skylarks took to the air. I could see straight away that one of the 'larks' was the Lapland Bunting. It flew directly overhead, where some patterning could be seen, then landed some way off. We did this on another two occasions before letting it have some peace and get on with feeding. On one flight view, it called the dry rattling note that is so distinctive of this species.
An excellent record for Boulmer and the first here for many years. I had a feeling the recent cold stormy spell would turn something up!
Two other years ticks were also here today, 2 Mute Swans feeding in a corn field and a first winter Kittiwake was with Black headed Gulls on the beach.
A large mixed bunting and finch flock in the small area of stubble near the village held 46+ Yellowhammers, 10+ Greenfinches and a couple of Tree Sparrows.
79. Mute Swan
81. Lapland Bunting