Monday, 12 November 2007

Snow Buntings

Extract from Planet Thanet report:

While checking on the high tide roost at Fayreness, three birds flew over that, even to my unskilled eye, were clearly Snow Buntings. They seemed to drop into Botany Bay so I followed, hoping that they might have landed, and that there weren't too many dogs around.
Fortunately they were feeding on the strandline, and lived up to their trusting reputation. They were still there when I left.

There seem to be three different plumages here - perhaps a male, a female and a juvenile?

The lower bird in the picture above seems to have male plumage (brighter wing bar, and more chestnut on the shoulders and under-wing).

The more distant bird is lighter, with an obviously streaked back, less white on the wing, little chestnut around the neck and none under the wing.

In this picture, an intermediate bird is in the foreground, with the same one at the back. The intermediate one has no chestnut under the wing and less on the breast.

To keep things in should be noted that, just as my three Little Auks yesterday were dwarfed by the thousands seen in Northumberland, the Sandwich Bay Bird Obs recorded 63 Snow Buntings today.

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