First Lapland Bunting

In U.K. this autumn

by Martin

Not like it’s really rare or anything, but I enjoyed it! Having been inspired (yet again) by a long conversation with Magnus R. at the Birdfair I gave myself a week to improve my sound recording (= do more).  Opened my nocturnal effort with Tree Pipit over my (almost) city centre home in early hours of 20th August. Onwards then!

4:30 am on 23rd August and rain at Rod Moor. So breaking dawn I headed to Strines where I could hear distant Crossbills (most likely ‘Glip’) amoung dawn chorus. This site got me an adult male Two-barred Crossbill over 10 years ago at this time of year. Mustn’t forget to look again.

Rain stopped, back to Rod Moor. Soon the odd Tree Pipit could be heard. Then c 7:00 am I thought I heard a Lapland Bunting. Normally I would have just dismissed it, too brief, very early. A ‘maybe’ but not secured. However I was recording and knew I could check once back home. Feeling somewhat incredulous it did sound just like a Lapland Bunting in my headphones and the sonagram was bang-on. Double checked with friends who all agreed.

Listen here for yourself: Lapland Bunting

and see sonagram of what you are listening to:

Sonagram showing Lapland Bunting ‘tew’ call and trill. Rod Moor, 23 August 2012. First of the Autumn in the U.K.

I also scored at least 6 Tree Pipits flying over.

Here’s what I am up to (queue cheesy video):

More examples of recording action.

Normal migrating Tree Pipit. Listen here:

Sonagram of what you are listening to:

Here’s a recording of Meadow Pipits and a sneaky Tree Pipit which just calls once

Listen here:

Sonagram of what you are listening to. Can you ‘see’ the Tree Pipit call? :

Closer up:

Close-up: The calls  visible  are of a House Martin, followed by weak Tree Pipit and in bolder  black , 3 Meadow Pipit calls.

And a presumed local bird A Robin singing normally nearly all the time but on one occasion broke into a ‘Willow Warbler imitation’.

have a listen: here

sonagram of what you are listening to:

Singing European Robin, with ‘Willow Warbler imitation’, followed by normal song.

About Martin Garner

I am a Free Spirit
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4 Responses to First Lapland Bunting

  1. says:

    magic Martin! Exiting stuff for us Pennine birders. A lot to learn here – my old birding mate Dave Barker has been night recording all year in Airedale yorks; recording stuff that’s not supposed to be moving at night eg nocturnal Whooper Swans. Mist and rain thwarted the vis today. But there’s always tomorrow…


  2. Hi Martin, just doing a bit of catching up and had my first Crossbill of the autumn on my new vismig watchpoint Broad Hill at Mountsorrel as well as 3 Tree Pipit (plus 8 unidentified Pipits that were moving too far east to hear call, but, that I suspect were Tree).
    I was interested to read you say that you were listening through headphones… just what set up are you using? Do you record the whole vismig session?
    All the best

    • Martin Garner says:

      Hi John

      sounds like a really good spot. I have been sound recording for a few years now. Remembird served me really well and got me fully engaged see eg different Crossbill recordings here

      Now I use a Telinga microphone (Twin Science- 2 microphones- cardioid esp. excellent for the birds) and pro 7 handle. recorded onto Olympus LS 11 and headphones. Loaded up onto raven Pro 1.4 software. I record continuously (so don’t miss anything) but will record for say 15 mins- if no ‘keepers’ will delete that file. If like this am got Phantom Crossbills- will make note to self and stop recording so I only have to scroll to the end of that section and delete the rest. With .wav files you can record on the LS11 for 7.5 – 11 + hrs depending on quality of recording. Lots of data to look through! Main thing is- get started with some recording- you will soon be hooked I hope

      Hope that helps


      • thedrunkbirder says:

        Blimey! I’ve just added FiRe2 as a recorder on my iPhone and thought I might get away with that… seems not. I’m not sure I can afford the stuff you’re using at the minute. I hoped you’d just say remembird.

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