Species of the Month - May 2017

Each month we feature a picture of a species to be found on The Commons. Wherever possible, all species featured have been photographed here. This month, we are featuring the reed bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus).

Looking somewhat like a larger than life sparrow spruced up for a smart night out, the male reed bunting is a dapper little bird. He can often be found perched near the top of a reed, swaying in the breeze as he sings his simple song. This basically consists of a few cheeps, fortunately distinctive enough to aid identification, and very helpful in drawing attention to the bird’s presence.

The less colourful female is by no means dowdy, displaying many subtle shades of brown, if you are lucky enough to get a good look.

As its name implies, the reed bunting breeds in reedbeds, tall rushes and shrubbery on wet ground. On The Common it favours the main reedbed to the east of the boardwalk, but can also often be found in the scrub closer to the car park. Whilst some birds are resident throughout the year, you are most likely to find them on The Common in the breeding season; we usually have a couple of pairs breeding here.

More pictures and information can be found on the RSPB and the BTO websites.

Click here to see other Species of the Month, or here for last year's Plants of the Month.