Snow bunting that visited a disappointed twitcher.

Jan 1, 2009 | Posted by: Sidsaucer | Full story: www.dailymail.co.uk

As a keen birdwatcher, Janet Davies thought nothing of travelling 1,000 miles to Norway to try and catch a glimpse of a rare snow bunting. Snow buntings have bright white plumages and there are only around 70 breeding pairs in Europe. Mrs Davies said: "They are very rare in Britain. It must have been blown off course. This time of year is often good for spotting rarities because of the windy conditions which bring them in". A snow bunting arrived in Mrs Davies' Helston garden in December and happily shared a bird table with more familiar chaffinches.

Comments
1 - 8 of 8 Comments Last updated Jan 6, 2009
Roy W

Hoddesdon, UK

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#1
Jan 2, 2009
 
The bird featured is a partially albino female Chaffinch - NOT a Snow Bunting.
Several people have tried to post comments to this effect on the Daily Mail website but they don't seem to want to admit their mistake.
Nick Derry

Leven, UK

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#2
Jan 2, 2009
 

Judged:

1

Roy's comment is correct, the picture in the full article shows an aberrant Chaffinch and not a Snow Bunting. Sorry Janet, but the good side is that Snow Buntings are not as rare as the article would have us believe - a few pairs can be found in the Cairngorms and they are quite easy to see in the winter at a lot of sites on the east coast.
Tony Keene

Zurich, Switzerland

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#3
Jan 2, 2009
 
Spot on the pair of you. As usual, Fleet Street is the extent of the editor's world and anything outside it is lost to them...
Paul

Salford, UK

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#4
Jan 2, 2009
 
"there are only around 70 breeding pairs in Europe"

Where do they get this rubbish from? This means I've had almost half the European population of Snow Bunting at my feet in the car park at Salthouse.
Geoff Halliwell

UK

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#5
Jan 2, 2009
 
Upmarket Daily Telegraph has also failed to distinguish partial albino female chaffinch from a snow bunting. Sorry Mrs Davies,that you have been you have been so mis-informed.
John B

UK

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#6
Jan 3, 2009
 
The Times has finally conceded defeat and published comments on the bird's true identity. But the Daily Mail still doesn't want to spoil "a good story". Anyway it's difficult not to feel some sympathy for Mrs Davies - assuming someone has told her by now! I wouldn't want to break the news.
dean smith

London, UK

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#7
Jan 3, 2009
 
seen this in 3 national papers now, and shame on them for not correcting the poor women just for a 'story' and also panning it out with a load of rubbish made up 'facts'

but we all know the mails view on migrants .....
Geoffrey Acklam

Arendal, Norway

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#8
Jan 6, 2009
 
Snow Buntings are everywhere in Svalbard, so I can't imagine how she managed to avoid seeing them there, unless she went at the wrong time of year. And the bird in her garden is certainly a partly albino chaffinch.

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