Identification: Male Cirl Buntings have diagnostic black and yellow faces. The females show hints of this same black and yellow pattern including obvious broad dark lines behind and below the eye. If you are in doubt about whether you have a Cirl Bunting or a Yellowhammer, check the rump colour - grey brown on a Cirl Bunting, almost red on a Yellowhammer. Also, Cirl Buntings have a small grey shoulder patch and richer chestnut on the upperparts
Habitat: Breeds in coastal scrub and areas with pasture and timbered hedges. Winters near coast in stubble.
Distribution: The species is a rare breeding bird in Britain that is now confined to Devon and Cornwall. The stronghold is in south Devon, particularly areas of coastal scrub adjacent to arable land. The best sites include Prawle Point where birds can be seen throughout the year (including sizeable winter flocks), Slapton Ley and Wembury Beach.
Only found south and west of a line from London to Bucharest this is a locally common bird on dry stony hillsides with scattered bushes. It is particularly numerous and easy to find on Mallorca.
Population: 200-380 breeding pairs in south-west England, with all but a few in Devon. None in Ireland.
1.3-2.3 million breeding pairs from southern Europe, most numerous in France, Spain and Italy.