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TITLE
Corn Bunting in Lewis
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_PETERCUNNINGHAM_04
PLACENAME
Gress
DISTRICT
Lewis
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Stornoway
PERIOD
1980s; 1990s
CREATOR
Peter Cunningham
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2154
KEYWORDS
ornithology
Outer Hebrides
audio

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In this audio extract, Hebridean ornithologist Peter Cunningham talks about corn bunting on Gress Moor, on the eastern side of Lewis.

Interviewer: Peter, that's the first time I've seen one of these birds in Lewis.

Well, it's the first corn bunting I've seen this year and they are getting scarcer. This is one of three localities in the island where one used to be sure of seeing them: Gress, where we are just now; Shawbost on the west side; and the Butt of Lewis, three of the only places where corn is still grown to a small extent.

Interviewer: Can you describe the corn bunting?

Yes, it's one of these indistinguishable birds, little brown birds, with a mottled brown plumage which has this rather tinkling call which is said to resemble a rattling of a bunch of keys. It normally sits on a fence post or fence wire or even telephone wires and has this distinct, distinct call which carries quite a long distance, and is its main characteristic.

Interviewer: How are they becoming so scarce now? In fact, recently, Donnie MacDonald over in Dornoch in southeast Sutherland has, hasn't seen a corn bunting for years in an area where there used to be lots of them.

Yes, well I don't know the reason for their diminution in that area but here I just think it's the lack of arable ground, the lack of corn with which the bird is associated. Here the growth of corn has practically disappeared and I link this with the disappearance of the corn bunting because in the Uists, as you say, they are very common, and there is still a lot of corn, oats, grown there

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Corn Bunting in Lewis

ROSS: Stornoway

1980s; 1990s

ornithology; Outer Hebrides; audio

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Bill Sinclair Audio: Bird Watching

In this audio extract, Hebridean ornithologist Peter Cunningham talks about corn bunting on Gress Moor, on the eastern side of Lewis. <br /> <br /> Interviewer: Peter, that's the first time I've seen one of these birds in Lewis.<br /> <br /> Well, it's the first corn bunting I've seen this year and they are getting scarcer. This is one of three localities in the island where one used to be sure of seeing them: Gress, where we are just now; Shawbost on the west side; and the Butt of Lewis, three of the only places where corn is still grown to a small extent.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Can you describe the corn bunting?<br /> <br /> Yes, it's one of these indistinguishable birds, little brown birds, with a mottled brown plumage which has this rather tinkling call which is said to resemble a rattling of a bunch of keys. It normally sits on a fence post or fence wire or even telephone wires and has this distinct, distinct call which carries quite a long distance, and is its main characteristic.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: How are they becoming so scarce now? In fact, recently, Donnie MacDonald over in Dornoch in southeast Sutherland has, hasn't seen a corn bunting for years in an area where there used to be lots of them. <br /> <br /> Yes, well I don't know the reason for their diminution in that area but here I just think it's the lack of arable ground, the lack of corn with which the bird is associated. Here the growth of corn has practically disappeared and I link this with the disappearance of the corn bunting because in the Uists, as you say, they are very common, and there is still a lot of corn, oats, grown there