Category
A
Status
Vagrant
Breeding status
First Record
1878
Last Recorded
2004

Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra


Corn Bunting photographed at Mt. Herault [MHE] on 15/11/2014. Photo: © Wayne Turner
  Corn Bunting photographed at Mt. Herault [MHE] on 15/11/2014 Photo: © Wayne Turner (visit site)

The Corn Bunting, Europe's largest bunting is distributed from the Canary Islands in the west to 83 degrees East in central Asia and from north-central Europe south to North Africa and south-east to Iran and Iraq. It rarely occurs north of Scotland, Denmark and Lithuania. In the northern part of its range it is restricted to farmland, preferring cereals and hay meadows. The British population has undergone a very rapid decline due to changes in agricultural practice.

Smith wrote in 1879 that the Corn Bunting 'is resident in Guernsey and breeds there, but in very small numbers.' He writes that he had seen 'a few' in the Vale and two or three near Le Vallon, above Moulin Huet. It seems that it became extinct soon after and there were no further records until 24 September 1932, when one was seen at Pleinmont. The last historical record for Guernsey was one seen by C.C. Carey at Jerbourg on 5 September 1946.

A similar situation seems to have occurred on Alderney. Thompson (Ibis 1921) reports that a total of five individuals were shot in Alderney in the autumns of 1892, 1893, 1894, 1896 and 1911. Corn Buntings are not noted for being a migrant and these are possibly resident birds that were recorded by Thompson and others on their autumn visits. There is one further record in Alderney of a bird on 10 February 1952.

The extinction of Corn Bunting as a breeding species is likely to be for similar reasons as given under Yellowhammer. Corn Buntings are an arable farming specialist, unlike the Yellowhammer which prefers mixed farming (areas with both pasture & livestock and arable crops). It is not surprising that with the loss of cereal crops and the move towards production in greenhouses and the intensive dairy and beef production that this species became extinct.

Since these records there have been only six records of autumn migrants in the Bailiwick.

1975:1 on Les Casquets, 25 October

1976:2 at ????, 2 October

1976:1 at Fort le Marchant, 3 October [CHECK]

1987: 6-8 in a stubble field at La Coupé, Sark 2-4 October (Rountree)

1991: 1 on Little Sark, 1 April (Rountree)

1988 2 at Grande Mare 5-7 April - GBN WERE THESE ACCEPTED, DONT THINK SO

2004: 1 at Jaonneuse 19-20 April.



View all photos (3)
Corn Bunting photographed at Mt. Herault [MHE] on 15/11/2014. Photo: © Wayne Turner
Corn Bunting photographed at Mt. Herault [MHE] on 15/11/2014. Photo: © Wayne Turner (visit site)

Corn Bunting photographed at Mt. Herault [MHE] on 15/11/2014. Photo: © Wayne Turner
Corn Bunting photographed at Mt. Herault [MHE] on 15/11/2014. Photo: © Wayne Turner (visit site)

Corn Bunting photographed at Jaonneuse on 20/4/2004. Photo: © Barry Wells
Corn Bunting photographed at Jaonneuse on 20/4/2004. Photo: © Barry Wells (visit site)



View database records (6)
Corn Bunting Pembroke 6/10/2003 1
Corn Bunting Jaonneuse 19/4/2004 1
Corn Bunting Jaonneuse 20/4/2004 1
Corn Bunting Pleinmont [PLE] 18/5/2012 1
Corn Bunting Pleinmont [PLE] 18/5/2012 1
Corn Bunting Mt. Herault [MHE] 15/11/2014 1