Finches to buntings

Starling Always present in good no's. Flocks of 300-400 occur on the saltmarshes in summer. In winter flocks of up to 50 are more normal. Late autumn migrant flocks can number in the 1000's.
House Sparrow There is an isolated breeding colony of about 10 pairs around the houses at Sunderland. No records of migrants.
Tree Sparrow A seemingly regular mid October migrant if groups of 19 on 18/10/97 and 25 on 14/10/95 are typical. Where are they coming from?
Chaffinch Breeds in small no's and there is usually a winter presence. On good visible migration days in October, up to 100 birds per day have been recorded.
Brambling Scarce late autumn migrant.
Greenfinch Common breeding bird, with a regular winter presence. Large off passage flocks gather at the point in autumn. Visible migration counts in mid October can reach up to 100 birds per day.
Goldfinch Breeds in small no's. Not usually seen in winter. Off passage flocks numbering 50-60 roam the point most autumns. Flocks of 20-30 birds are occasionally seen flying south at this time of year.
Siskin Small no's of migrants fly south each autumn. Smaller no's in spring.
Linnet Very common breeder. Gatherings of up to 150 birds occur in late summer. Peak migration occurs in September. Few birds are seen in the early winter period but they are back on territory by early spring.
Twite Elusive flocks occur on the salt marshes during winter. Most easily seen at high tide. Notable records include 70 in Jan '93 and 26 during Feb.'97. Seen occasionally during visible migration watches.
Redpoll Very seldom seen which is surprising considering the no. recorded at nearby Heysham Observatory in spring.
Bullfinch* Very occasionally seen in flocks of migrating Chaffinch during visible migration watches. There have also been records from the wood at Potts Corner.
Lapland Bunting* One "scoped" flying south at Heysham (24/10/90), appeared to land on Middleton saltmarsh. It was never relocated.
Snow Bunting* There have been a couple of November records, (24/11/84 and 13/11/88) probably representing late migrants. The habitat at the point would seem ideal for a long staying bird one winter.
Yellowhammer* Very scarce autumn migrant. Three birds in late October '98 were the first known records.
Reed Bunting Several pairs breed in the area, along the inner edge of the salt marshes. Some occur in winter. Peak visible migration occurs in mid October. Max. 15 birds/day.
Corn Bunting* Formerly bred in the area. However there have been no known sightings for at least eight years.

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