Reed Bunting – 2003-07 breeding

Emberiza schoeniclus – BRAS Y CYRS – Breeding resident

Comparison with previous atlas:

1984-882003-07
Breeding confirmed2722
Breeding probable54101
Breeding possible1915
No of tetrads occupied100 (of 478)138 (of 490)
Percentage of tetrads20.9%28.2%

The Reed Bunting is a largely inconspicuous bird with streaky black brown and off white plumage and white outer tail feathers. Breeding males have a striking black head and bib and broad white collar, females lack these. The preferred habitat is marsh, fen and boggy areas, in which they place their nests low down among rank vegetation.

It was estimated that about 500 pairs were nesting in Pembrokeshire at the time of the 1984-88 survey. Because this was based on experience of the species within its specialised distribution, it was thought to be a realistic assessment. The survey of 2003-07 found there had been a 38% spread in distribution, which if added to the earlier estimate suggests the population in the county had reached about 690 pairs. The introduction of oilseed rape as a crop has probably been the main factor affecting the increase in Reed Bunting distribution, permitting them to expand out of wet areas.

Graham Rees. Pembrokeshire County Bird Recorder 1981-2007

Records extracted from the Pembrokeshire Bird Reports, which may contain more detail than shown here.

More about the Reed Bunting in Pembrokeshire