Country Corner

Reed bunting - a handsome chap
Reed bunting - a handsome chap

I have shown you the bonny wee male reed bunting before, but always felt my pictures failed to capture the species in full breeding plumage and bolshie territorial attitude!

Maybe this recent shot gives a better idea of just how handsome and self important male reed buntings can be, while their demure mates are hidden in deep cover incubating a secret clutch of eggs.

Maybe it is the conspicuous white moustache?

Or the way he erects his white neck and black crown as he scolds passers by?

Who can say what makes a species a favourite among naturalists and casual observers alike.

All I know is, this bird is often the subject of those conversations which begin “You will know this!”

Then follows a description of some animal or bird I would know right away if I saw it, but have little hope of guessing from the oral version of “identifit” description proffered!

Thankfully, mention of black head, white collar and brown body narrows it down a bit.

Another reason I am always so glad to see a singing male reed bunting is simply because I used to see them a lot more.

Yes, I know I harp on about the good old days, but there really was a lot more wildlife around in the 1950s and 1960s when I was a stravaiging laddie with an incurable curiosity about wild things.

I realise there are probably some folk who read Country Corner but have little or no other contact with wildlife.

I would ask a favour of you.

Next time you read about a planning proposal in the countryside, remember this image of the handsome wee reed bunting.

Some things really are invaluable, priceless and irreplaceable.