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Mon 13th September 2010

Posted on September 13, 2010 at 4:30 PM

birds : With a sighting of a Lapland Bunting at Portinfer yesterday, I considered whether to pop in there on the way to work to have a brief look for it. But I thought I'd check the nearby Pulias Headland instead since I have found Lap Bunt there three times already and it seems to be a favoured site. No sooner had I left the car park when I noticed a few pipits get up (which were recent arrivals as no pipits were around last week) and I heard a distinctive "pr-pr-prt-t" call from amongst them, clearly a Lap Bunt. So I returned with my camera, took some distant record shots of this one bird, before some silly mare with two dogs walked right in front of me, flushing everything in sight and the bird disappeared. I had a quick scout round to refind it - flushing a Tree Pipit whilst doing so, which I have managed to miss all year up to now - but it seemed to have vanished. Then suddenly three birds flew in from the east and all three were Lap Bunts! And incredibly, they landed in the grass right in front of me. Frantically I tried to get my digiscope set up and onto them, but they were too close and I had to step backwards quite a bit just to get them in the frame. They were hard to get as they were right in the grass but then one just sat on a rock and allowed some amazing photos for just 30 seconds. Luckily my battery ran out otherwise I would have certainly been late for work.

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Lapland Bunting, Pulias Headland

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The bird above that I photographed seems to be a first-winter bird since there are fine flank streaks and the tail feathers are very pointed, whilst the initial bird seems like an adult due to its blackish-blotchy breast pattern (see below). I am not convinced that the flock of three actually included this bird but who knows?

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Categories: 2010 Autumn