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Do you get Snow Finches in the Cairngorms?

Do you get Snow Finches in the Cairngorms?


Postby Jambo235 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:53 am

At the Ptarmigan restaurant I saw two little birds, finch sized. One had a definite grey head and a bright yellow/orange bill. The other was a bit duller. Having seen snow finches in the Alps I thought that's what these were but I didn't think you got them in the UK? Here is the picture (it's not the best)

Image
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Re: Do you get Snow Finches in the Cairngorms?

Postby Ian Johnston » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:17 am

Hi Jambo,

Snow Buntings (Plectropenax nivalis do breed in small numbers on the high Cairngorm tops, but Snow Finches are (as far as i can tell) confined to the high alpine regions of central Europe. Difficult to tell from the photo, but these might be juvenile and/or moulting adult Snow Buntings - di you notice a white wing bar on either of them?

Kind Regards

Ian
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Re: Do you get Snow Finches in the Cairngorms?

Postby Caberfeidh » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:49 pm

The Cairngorms' snow buntings do tend to congregate around the Ptarmigan to cadge crumbs. I saw one there, perching on the boot of a man who was then getting a crick in his neck trying to look at it through his twitcher's scope!
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Re: Do you get Snow Finches in the Cairngorms?

Postby Gavin99 » Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:45 pm

Hi Jambo , I met a bunch of juvenile Snow Buntings hopping around the tor on Cairngorm two weeks ago , maybe even the same ones that you saw :

2012_0819test0064.JPG
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Re: Do you get Snow Finches in the Cairngorms?

Postby Jambo235 » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:34 pm

Cheers guys,
The picture of the juvenile does look very similar to one of the birds I saw. The one I've labelled as Male did have a notably grey head with a brown body - maybe it was just going through some weird plumage change as I guess its getting to that time of year.
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