Lapland Bunting

Sheffield Tame Tick

First weekend in November (6th) I was on Blacka with Roy Twigg, Dave Hursthouse and others looking for Homer the Shrike. Got call from Mark Reeder ‘its like Shetland’. He had just found both Lapland and Snow Bunting at Orgreave Lagoon Sheffield (not Shetland).Remarkable. One species would have been enough!

The following Saturday  a little group (Dave, Marco, Roy, Andy, me)  had point-blank views of one of the Lapland Buntings.

With my camera battery  flat Andy D counselled- “School boy error Garner”, but nevertheless sent his wonderful photos.

Age and Sex of this Lapland Bunting?

Please have a go. I see first winter tail feathers. Plumage has quite obvious rufous ‘triangles’ on nape sides (though not from behind- looked just ‘greyish’), quite a lot of black in the crown and obvious black blotches (circles not streaks) in breast centre, suggests to me first winter male– but I am not sure it’s an exact science. Females do show these feature in summer.

Anyone have better stab at age and sex. Then its tame, so it would be a North American bird ssp. subcalcaratus! It could well be but I’m not claiming it. I don’t think you can ‘do’ them on plumage. More on subcalcaratus Lapland and occurance in Britain see:

http://birdingfrontiers.com/2010/09/01/lapland-bunting/

http://birdingfrontiers.com/2010/09/11/updates-ortolan-and-lapland-buntings/

All nice photos of the Lapland Bunting by Andy Deighton bar bottom shot (digiscoped) and scene shots by me.

(1st winter male?) Lapland Bunting, Orgreave Lagoon, Sheffield 13th November 2010

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