Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Water Rail at Thompson Water, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Yellowhammer near Houghton-on-the-Hill, Norfolk

Yellowhammer (male) near Houghton-on-the-Hill, Norfolk 02/04/14
I seemed to lack motivation to do too much today but a short walk with my beautiful Toby revealed a number of singing Linnets, Chaffinches, and Yellowhammers in typical hedgerow habitat.
Yellowhammers are often overlooked birds, probably due to their common status, however, these are stunning birds and always worth a prolonged look.  Attention is always drawn to the bright yellow head and underparts of this gorgeous Bunting, however, the upperparts offer a nice contrast as does that beautiful chestnut rump.

4 comments:

  1. Nice picture! Please, if you have an another opportunity for a short walk and it's not too inconvenient for you, do you think you could record some of those yellowhammers you meet on the way for us? We are very much interested in their song. If you haven't heard about our project yet, please visit our website, http://yellowhammers.net.

    Pavel Pipek
    Charles University in Prague

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    Replies
    1. Hi Pavel, thank you for your comments. I am not sure if the equipment I have is sufficient for recording song, however, I will have a go for you.

      Paul

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    2. Hi, Paul, thank you for your answer. It is not necessary to have any special equipment, actually nowadays, most digital cameras or cellphones should do. Most recordings we got in the Czech Republic were recorded on digital cameras. Some of the device have been already tested and are listed here, so you can have a look if you find yours:
      http://www.yellowhammers.net/device
      There is also a tutorial how to test your device, if it is not in the list:
      http://www.yellowhammers.net/tutorial
      Good luck!
      Pavel

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  2. Paul,
    my wife managed to get the sound of a Tawny Owl "trilling" in our Dutch Barn....
    using our old "Knokia" 'phone....
    and I mean old...
    ten years!!
    We have also tried with our iPod.... but the 'phone was clearer and louder....
    and less hassle.

    LIDL occasionally do a "kids" Spy Kit for around a tenner...
    it contains a parabolic microphone for listening into "conversations"....
    it is superb, however, for listening to birds...
    and I have discovered that...
    with my Sony MZ70 Minidisc recorder...
    I can use it to record birdsong...
    and monitor what I am recording at the same time...
    which I can't do with it connected to the iPod.

    That is a 'loverley' pic of a Yellowhammer....
    we don't get them here...
    we get the Bruant Zizi instead....
    call...
    "A little bit of bread and no...."
    ....
    yes, you guessed correctly...
    the Cirl Bunting....
    strange call really....
    there is loadsa cheese here....
    the French specialise in it!

    Until I looked at your pic above, I hadn't realized that the Yellowhammer had a ghost of the Cirl's "bandit" stripes on the head....
    rather like the echo of the head stripes of the male Brambling on the female Chaffinch.
    I love bird watching!!
    You learn so much.

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