Corn Bunting – 1994

Former breeding resident. Now a scarce visitor

Resident but local according to Mathew (1894), and “never seen far from the coast”. Resident but very local according to Lockley etal. (1949), “being confined principally to the St David’s area, Dale peninsula and Castle Martin districts” and “probably decreasing”. They also note that it had bred at Ramsey. Lockley (1957) stated that it had by then become very local and was decreasing rapidly. Sharrock (1976) considered that the Corn Bunting started to decline in Wales from about 1920.

Breeding probably ceased in Pembrokeshire shortly after 1963, when 30 birds were seen in suitable habitat in the Hakin/Herbrandston area. Since then, one or two have been recorded in just 16 years, some of them males which held territory but apparently failed to find mates. Single males were found in only two years of the 1984-1988 Breeding Birds Survey, with no evidence of breeding. One which inhabited the Marloes peninsula from 1977 to 1981 resorted to singing like a Yellowhammer, no doubt misleading many of those who passed by.

Donovan J.W. & Rees G.H, 1994, Birds of Pembrokeshire

LOCKLEY, R.M. 1957. Pembrokeshire. London, Robert Hale.

More about the Corn Bunting in Pembrokeshire