Rare Yellowhammer Sighting?

The Yellowhammer seems to have graced the northern border of England with his presence on this seemingly inhospitable marshes of the Solway plain, which are open to cold sea winds and biting rain.  Terrain is usually hard and sandy and the grazing rough.

Is this the rare Yellowhammer

Is this the rare Yellowhammer?

Hedgerows are only beginning to show the first signs of green but the sun is out and although the day is cool, it’s a great time for walking and watching the wildlife.


On this visit in late March, a tiny bird is seen flitting in and out of the hedgerow, he perches high on a bare branch and sings to claim his territory.

Aiming the camera in the general direction, it is too difficult to see what bird this is, but examining the images at home, it would appear that we have been very lucky to spot the rare male Yellowhammer.

The profile seems unmistakable, his bright yellow head ruffled by the wind still displays the distinctive brown marks over the eye and near the bill. Chestnut brown feathers on his rump seem to be a dead giveaway.

The Yellowhammer is found in limited numbers across the UK but is quite rare in the north, making this a very pleasant sighting indeed.

According to the RSBP this beautiful bird is on the endangered list due to its population decline and is currently at “red status“.

Maybe things are looking up and our northern numbers could be on the increase.

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