Rare bird spotted in Priors Hardwick farm

The rare snow bunting. Credit: Matt Willmot
The rare snow bunting. Credit: Matt Willmot
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A rare bird was spotted on a farm in Priors Hardwick as part of a bird count on farmland across the country.

Matt Willmot and Jenny Parsons from Natural England were taking part in the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust’s (GWCT) 2016 Big Farmland Bird Count on Hugh Darbishire’s farm when they spotted a rare snow bunting in a hedge.

Hugh Darbishire on his farm where the snow bunting was seen.

Hugh Darbishire on his farm where the snow bunting was seen.

Snow buntings migrate to the UK during the winter from their breeding grounds in the Arctic but are usually found on the coast rather than inland, and as such is only seen in the Midlands once or twice a year.

Matt said the sighting was a “truly remarkable experience” for him and Jenny.

Hugh has used his parts of his sheep and arable farm to help bird numbers for over a decade, and uses mixed bird seed and plants wildflowers to encourage birds to nest there.