Status and distribution Formerly much more widespread as a breeding species, now uncommon with a patchy and discontinuous range in the Western Palearctic. Resident thoughout much of the interior of Iberia, and in small pockets in north Morocco, southern France, Sardinia, southern Italy and Macedonia. A summer visitor to parts of central & eastern France and from the Ukraine and Crimea east to the Caspian.
Western birds winter in southern France and Iberia and those from the east of the range move south to Transcaucasia or out of the region into Central Asia. Some birds may also winter in Turkey and North Africa.
Vagrant to most European countries north to Britain, Norway and Sweden, also Madeira and Canary Is, Cyprus and Malta, Egypt, the Near East and Iraq. British records (110, mainly old), chiefly autumn-winter and scattered from southern England north to Shetland.
Habitat Open habitats, mainly grasslands on steppes and plains, also cereal and clover fields.