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The status of the Lapland bunting Calcarius lapponicus on the west coast of Schleswig-Holstein and on Helgoland Das Vorkommen der Spornammer Calcarius lapponicus an der Westkueste Schleswig-Holsteins und auf Helgoland


The status of the Lapland bunting Calcarius lapponicus on the west coast of Schleswig-Holstein and on Helgoland Das Vorkommen der Spornammer Calcarius lapponicus an der Westkueste Schleswig-Holsteins und auf Helgoland



Corax 19(3): 303-309



The Lapland Bunting is a scarce but regular migrant in Schleswig-Holstein and on Helgoland. While on Helgoland records from December to February are rare, wintering numbers are estimated at 50-500 birds on the west coast of Schleswig-Holstein. Migrants occur from September to November and from March to May, but autumn migration is much more pronounced. Median dates differ considerably between the sites, probably due to difficulties in distinguishing between migrants and wintering birds in Schleswig-Holstein. In autumn, spring and during high snow cover Lapland Buntings are mainly recorded in ungrazed salt marshes. In winter most birds feed along the tidelines in the salt marshes. Non-coastal habitats are hardly visited at all. The increasing number of records is at least partially caused by better identification skills of the birdwatchers involved. However, better food resources due to the reduction in sheep grazing of the salt marshes might have led to an increase in wintering numbers.

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