Tag Archives: Corn Bunting

North Merseyside Biodiversity Action Plan Corn Bunting

The magnitude of the local population decline is not known. Certainly, a decline is indicated from the changes in the peak counts of wintering flocks. The North Merseyside population was estimated at 200 pairs in 1997-99.
The species remains widespread on farmland in the area, but in variable densities. Small populations are found on the edge of the conurbation at Speke, Croxteth, Aintree and Netherton. The highest population densities, reaching a maximum of 4-5 pairs per square kilometre, occur on arable farmland in Sefton, Knowsley and St. Helens. This is the southern part of a fairly continuous area of approximately 200 square kilometres of mosslands, most of it outside Merseyside, which holds the largest population of Corn Buntings in North West England, estimated in 1997-99 to total 1200 pairs, 5% to 7.5% of the UK population. The distribution of birds within this area is typically patchy. The highest densities, around Altcar Withins and Little
Crosby, are similar to the highest densities so far recorded in North West Europe. Most of the UK population makes only local movements of a few kilometres between breeding and wintering areas. Therefore, wintering distributions are likely to be similar to breeding distributions on a coarse scale in North Merseyside. There are local re-distributions, for example of birds onto the dunes at Crosby in winter, where there is no breeding population.