Cirl Buntings on reserve in Milford, Auckland

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AlexBarber
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Cirl Buntings on reserve in Milford, Auckland

Postby AlexBarber » Fri Jul 29, 2022 2:17 pm

Group of 3 Cirl Buntings (fledgling family?) spotted on Brian Byrnes reserve, Milford, Auckland today and at around the same time (mid-morning) on the past two days on my daily morning walk. I have a short video of the group which is clearer but this site does not accept mp4s
Cirl_Bunting.jpg
Cirl Bunting on Milford reserve
Cirl_Bunting.jpg (392.17 KiB) Viewed 727 times
andrewcrossland
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Re: Cirl Buntings on reserve in Milford, Auckland

Postby andrewcrossland » Fri Jul 29, 2022 3:31 pm

Do you have any other stills from the Mp4 to show some more angles? Cirl Buntings have black chins like the images from the internet below. The bird in the pic appears to have a yellow chin and looks more like a Yellowhammer to be fair. But maybe from another angle it has the diagnostic black chin (and grey breast)?

cirl bunting.jpg
cirl bunting.jpg (19.02 KiB) Viewed 723 times
morepork
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Re: Cirl Buntings on reserve in Milford, Auckland

Postby morepork » Sat Jul 30, 2022 10:08 am

From your original photo certainly looks like Yellowhammer
AlexBarber
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Re: Cirl Buntings on reserve in Milford, Auckland

Postby AlexBarber » Sun Jul 31, 2022 6:07 pm

I am not a 'Twitcher', and certainly no bird expert. I do the walk for the exercise but like looking at the many birds that I see. If it is a Yellowhammer then that would be even rarer in this location than a Cirl Bunting, from my extremely limited knowledge and reading. I will try to get get some more stills from the MP4 (taken at a long distance on a phone camera). Alternatively, I can send the MP4 to an email address. I have recorded 24 birds on the Milford Beach walk that I do, with one further possible (heard, not seen).
AlexBarber
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Re: Cirl Buntings on reserve in Milford, Auckland

Postby AlexBarber » Sun Jul 31, 2022 7:20 pm

Further frames from the MP4 are attached. Hope you can determine which bird it is. It was a group of three, two a
Cirl_Bunting_Moment(4).jpg
Cirl_Bunting_Moment(4).jpg (2.23 MiB) Viewed 507 times
dults plus a chick.
Cirl_Bunting_Moment(3).jpg
Cirl_Bunting_Moment(3).jpg (190.54 KiB) Viewed 507 times
Cirl_Bunting_Moment(2).jpg
Cirl_Bunting_Moment(2).jpg (188.16 KiB) Viewed 507 times
AlexBarber
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Re: Cirl Buntings on reserve in Milford, Auckland

Postby AlexBarber » Sun Jul 31, 2022 7:26 pm

More frames.
Cirl_Bunting_Moment(11).jpg
Cirl_Bunting_Moment(11).jpg (2.29 MiB) Viewed 506 times
Cirl_Bunting_Moment(10).jpg
Cirl_Bunting_Moment(10).jpg (2.19 MiB) Viewed 506 times
Cirl_Bunting_Moment.jpg
Cirl_Bunting_Moment.jpg (85.07 KiB) Viewed 506 times
andrewcrossland
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Re: Cirl Buntings on reserve in Milford, Auckland

Postby andrewcrossland » Sun Jul 31, 2022 8:55 pm

Every one of these look like a Yellowhammer but clearer pics would clinch it.
cheers
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Oscar Thomas
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Re: Cirl Buntings on reserve in Milford, Auckland

Postby Oscar Thomas » Sun Jul 31, 2022 11:13 pm

Yellowhammers are abundant and widespread throughout NZ, so while not denizens of urban areas it is much more likely than the alternative. Cirl buntings are uncommon and patchy across NZ, and can only reliably be found in the South Island between Nelson and Canterbury. There is a small population near Wellington too but otherwise rarely reported from the North Island. You can read more here: https://nzbirdsonline.org.nz/species/cirl-bunting
Ian McLean
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Re: Cirl Buntings on reserve in Milford, Auckland

Postby Ian McLean » Sun Jul 31, 2022 11:38 pm

Hello Alex, thanks for your report. Your birds look to be yellowhammers, which is a actually a pretty good sighting for an suburban Auckland Park. As Oscar has mentioned cirl buntings are mainly a bird of the eastern coast of the South Island & there are no recent reports of them in the Auckland region. Yellowhammers are relatively uncommon in urban Auckland. Sightings in the North Shore suburbs are usually of single birds or maybe two or three; however, large sports fields & volcanic cones can have flocks of them in winter. Often these flocks are only a dozen or so birds & can be mixed in with greenfinches & goldfinches; although I once counted an exceptional flock of 70 yellowhammers at Michael's Avenue Reserve in Ellerslie. Keep looking out for them, they are fabulous birds.
Last edited by Ian McLean on Tue Aug 02, 2022 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
Jan
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Re: Cirl Buntings on reserve in Milford, Auckland

Postby Jan » Mon Aug 01, 2022 9:49 am

Cirl Buntings are birds of dry regions in Europe and like rough and rocky places, where they creep about close to the ground like feathery mice, almost. They wont be enjoying this terribly wet winter and few have been seen around Chch recently, if you look at eBird lists. They aren't likely to expand much in the N Is unless the east coast dries out a lot.

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