There are lots of Common Whitethroat (Sylvia communis) on the margins of farmland around Cottenham. I walked the dog along Broad Lane from Fen Bridge Farm to Archie’s Way and a little beyond (hoping to see or hear something rare). But, there was an abundance of Whitethroat, I had only seen one or two so far this year, but today at least a dozen, also Reed Bunting, Yellowhammer, Corn Bunting, Linnet. Also, lots of Reed Warblers in our local reed bed.
As they pointed out on BBC Springwatch, the Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus) used to be seen only on or close to reed beds, but it has now spread its wings, taken a flight of fancy and is now quite common on farmland and even in country gardens. Walk along the Cottenham Lode or anywhere out on the Fen Edge Patch and beyond, where there are drainage ditches and listen out for its trilly call and you might spot one perched on a tall weed in a field of wheat or on the reeds.
Lots of Linnet (Linaria cannabina) around the farmland surrounding Cottenham right now too. Mentioned them last year in a blog post about RSPB North Warren. Here’s a female out on the fen today with a mouthful of berries. Female pictured below, but you can listen to the sound of the male here.
As well as the Reed Bunts, Linnets, and Whitethroats, mentioned earlier, there are also lots of Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella) and Corn Bunting (E. calandra) around the Cottenham Fen Edge at the moment.
A couple of Corn Buntings perched on overhead wires allowed me to get fairly close to photograph them before flying off into the wheat fields.
Slightly overexposed poppies along Broad Lane, Cottenham
Cow parlsey along Broad Lane, Cottenham.