Lapland Buntings

One of the notable features of the Hastings Autumn Landbird Migration Survey has been the exceptional number of Lapland Bunting records. There has been a national influx of these birds,[now known as Lapland Longspur], which have a circumpolar breeding range, nesting in both the old and new world tundras. Although larger numbers were recorded further north, the total of 34 recorded by the survey between  September 16 and November 16 is impressive for Sussex. [The Sussex Bird Report 2008 lists just 6 records for 2000-2008]Apart from some early birds inland of Fairlight and Cliff End, all were recorded over Hastings Country Park NR and uncluded day totals of 4 and 8 in off the sea. Lapland Buntings are usually detected by their call, a very distinctive dry rattle, followed by a short “teu”, or sometimes just either of these notes. None were seen on the ground, the photo, kindly supplied by Peter Maton, taken in Kent a few years ago .


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