3 Jan 2014

Snow Bunting races

Over the last few years I've photographed a few Snow Buntings on the Wirral and have recently been looking at the photos again to see if any can assigned to race. Snow Buntings visiting the UK are of two different races - the fenno scandivanian race nivalis is generally frostier in appearance with a paler rump and p9 with extensive amounts of white whilst the Icelandic race insulae is a darker bird with a darker rump. 

The recent Hilbre bird I reckon is insulae - see below

Whilst the next bird photographed on Hilbre a few years ago looks a dead cert for the nominate nivalis.
Even though the rump has a lot of brown in it the underlying colour is whiter than the bird above.
It also has much more white on the inner most p9 primary.

I'm not sure if any of the Cheshire Snow a Buntings have ever been assigned to race before so I'm claiming a county first! 

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