One reason why I like winter: yellowhammers.


Golden light and golden beauty. 
There is no secret I feed them.










The Yellowhammer

by John Clare (1793-1864)

When shall I see the white thorn leaves agen
And yellowhammers gath’ring the dry bents
By the dyke side on stilly moor or fen
Feathered wi love and natures good intents
Rude is the nest this Architect invents
Rural the place wi cart ruts by dyke side
Dead grass, horse hair and downy headed bents
Tied to dead thistles she doth well provide
Close to a hill o’ ants where cowslips bloom
And shed o’er meadows far their sweet perfume
In early Spring when winds blow chilly cold
The yellowhammer trailing grass will come
To fix a place and choose an early home
With yellow breast and head of solid gold.

On Corn Buntings and laundry dryer racks


In my previous post (link here) you have seen a mystery photo of a corn bunting.

This species is very spread here in Southern Romania and we have these nice birds all year round.

But, tell me, how do you think an amateur photographer can take some decent photos of corn buntings(not the shyest bird, but shy, though) when all he has is a point and shoot camera?
The answer is overwhelming/amazing/put-a-word-you-like-here: using a laundry dryer rack, two white sheets and a great amount of patience. This is perfect mostly during Winter when Corn Buntings come to our garden in search  of seeds. There is no secret I feed these birds and from time to time I take them photos.

While waiting, some birds are just a few centimeters above you. Many times I just couldn't resist and I touched the sheet under their feet.
While waiting, some birds are just a few centimeters above you. Many times I just couldn’t resist and I touched the sheet under their feet.

But enough about the ‘superb gear’ used for taking these photos, let’s talk about corn buntings.

Scientists say that Corn Bunting declined in N-W of Europe due to our ‘modern’ agricultural practices. These ‘lovely’ practices, by one hand, grow profit of some entities, but, on the other hand, deprive birds of their food, I mean seeds and insects.
They primarily eat various seeds but feed their chicks on invertebrates.

This bird is declared extinct in Ireland and in England some organizations try to implement some measures in order to conserve this species.

Corn bunting is around 19 cm long, its wingspan is less than 30 cm, weighs around 50 gr and has a large and conical bill.
Its nest is built right on ground, made from grass, and the female lays up to 5 eggs once or twice a year.


Corn Bunting is very similar to Yellowhammer, just a bit larger than Yellowhammer.


During Winter, it gathers in small flocks and many times you may see on fields trees full of birds, like the one below.


You may read more here(, here (, here ( and here ( And, if you know Romanian, check this link(

Behind snow mounds

X aIMG_4475

Even if they are common birds (well, for me no bird is common but each is special), corn buntings (Emberiza calandra) are among my favorite species.

During winters, they search for seeds amidst snow mounds.

I like those snow flakes on bird’s wings.

I usually show full birds, or at least as many details of a bird as I can, but for this photo you may have to use your imagination.



Corn Bunting

Corn Bunting  (Emberiza calandra)
Corn Bunting
(Emberiza calandra)


Another bird from bunting family Emberizidae. This bunting is a bit larger than Yellowhammer.

Its diet consists of insects(for young birds) and seeds.

It breeds on the ground, its nest is made from grass. Loves open areas, especially those with small trees.

During winter I see small flocks of Yellowhammers and Corn Buntings.

In the photo above you see a Corn Bunting trying to eat a wheat seed.




Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella)
(Emberiza citrinella)

The Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella) is a bird around about 16 centimeters long. The male has brown back and bright yellow head. The female is much duller, and more streaked below. In the photograph above we have a female.

Its diet consists of cereal seeds and some insects.

This bird loves open areas, especially those with small trees. In winter form small flocks.

During winter, this is my favourite bird and during summer bee eater it’s my favourite one!