Sunday, 7 September 2014

Murlach Ortolan Bunting

I got a text from Richard Bonser to say that his Swiss birding friend Julien Mazenauer had found an Ortolan Bunting down by Murlach at Ballyconneely (thanks Rich). I was at a meeting in Offaly for most of the day and it was 1900hrs by the time I got back to have a look. The light was going and it wasn't too approachable but I managed to get a few record shots which are below. This is the second county record of this species after the first one turned up on Inishbofin from 10th to 12th September 2012 which was found by Craig Nash, see here
Ortolan Bunting is the only rare bunting on the Galway list. Clare for example has had one Black-headed, one Rustic, several Little and also several Ortolans at this stage. The bird in question here favoured a field just past Murlach and also feed along the laneway itself. It was quite vocal in flight.
I've uploaded a video of the bird on Vimeo taken on the phone which was shot through Michael Davis's amazing 95mm Swarovski scope.


1 comment:

  1. Ortolan has a really odd occurrence pattern in Cork, though, admittedly, one that many of the regular rare passerines seem to share. While they are more or less annual in the far south-west of Cork, in places such as Cape Clear, Mizen Head or Dursey Island, they are like hen's teeth away from there, anywhere. While coverage may be a factor, given past exhaustive coverage of Cape in particular, there's not a single east Cork record that I am aware of, and one at the Old Head of Kinsale (a traditionally reasonably-watched site) in September 2008 was the first there since 1976.