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As its name implies, the Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus) is most at home in the reed beds and rush-filled pastures that surround many of Britain’s freshwater lakes and ponds, though it has been encroaching on farmlands and into woodlands during the last 80-odd years, perhaps in response to a reduction in its preferred wetland habitats. Luckily, it’s flourishing in the expanses of reed beds that fringe the conservation lake at Cosmeston Lakes Country Park, which is where I photographed these little beauties last Sunday.



I particularly like some of their common names (as supplied by Buczacki’s Fauna Britannica): black bonnet, coaly hood, bog sparrow and chink (Scotland); bodkin (Lancashire); pit sparrow (Cheshire; Colin blackhead (Renfrewshire); seave cap and toad snatcher (Yorkshire); ring bird and ring fowl (Aberdeenshire). I also particularly like the male bird’s large white and very stylish moustache.