Tuesday, 11 May 2010
I had to share this video, taken by David Erterius two days ago in southern Sweden and posted yesterday to WestPalBirds. Corn Buntings aren't known as mimics, though apparently the phenomenon has been recorded before. It's a remarkably decent impression of a Yellowhammer's song, though I suspect that female Yellowhammers won't be fooled (if they were, the resulting hybrid would be an interesting specimen).
And while we're comparing birds, Jono Lethbridge has pointed out that the female Northern Wheatear in the image from Rainham that I posted yesterday is remarkably similar to the bird he photographed there on 29 April - compare the damage to the tip of the lower mandible on his bird (http://tinyurl.com/32z62po) to mine. That means it has been present for 12 days, a long time for a spring migrant - perhaps it is being held up by feeding difficulties, or maybe it might stay to breed? Northern Wheatears do not nest locally, though I did once find a July juvenile which I am sure was probably locally reared.