Snow Bunting.


With my best adventure kecks freshly pressed and (almost) ready for action far, far, away, I wanted to see if my battered old ‘scope was still up to digi-scoping duties, given the lens is covered in more scratches than a Chris De Burgh record once any intelligent person has had their hands on it for any length of time.
While my P900 is great and far more grown-up and everything (and far cheaper of course than scratching ‘scope lenses to pieces on a regular basis), you can’t beat a bit of digi-scoping, so the long staying Snow Bunting on the beach at Southport seemed a good subject to test out getting back into bad habits again…



I nipped up at lunchtime today and the bunting was feeding on the foreshore below the seawall up at the Fairway end of Marine Drive.
It was frequently hassled by Pied Wags, so flew about a bit, but I just sat and waited for the bird to trundle back up the beach towards me, which it did after a few minutes.
What’s not to like about Snow Bunts?
Trilling call, classy “arctic” vibe and fine feathery baggy troosers too.
The bird seemed happy in its own universe most of the time, but froze whenever it heard the small finch flock twittering overhead, as if it equated the calls with a threat.
Generally ignored me though, which seems to be the norm these days.
I left it happily munching seeds around the clumps of old salicornia (get me, okay, marsh samphire) and saltmarsh grass.


A few Twite with Linnets on the beach here too, but only four or five that I saw, while two Goldcrest were moving through the marram at the back of the Marine Drive car park before I pulled out – autumn passage is still seriously on the go then.

11 thoughts on “Snow Bunting.

  1. Four Whooper Swans calling and heading north east over the frontal dunes at Ainsdale at 12.20pm today, and at least part of the Twite flock appeared to be bouncing about just north of Weld Road roundabout – lunchtime drive-by birding.


  2. No show for the Snow Bunting yesterday afternoon, but at least 100 Twite in the saltmarsh opposite the Marine Lake at Southport, with flocks of up to 35 occasionally landing on the seawall. I could only hear one Linnet with the flock.


    • Hi Si – good to hear from you, hope you’re well.
      “Wild Merseyside” is going back a bit.
      Think you can still get copies of it via Amazon, some used, some new…all splendid-ish(!!)
      Don’t think the ECHO has any left now – but folk could always check there I guess.


  3. Out at Birkdale dunes this morning (seaward of the coast road) and finally caught up with Cettis Warbler at Taggs Island reedbed after a number of attempts. Possibly the bird which has been around a while and first found by Michael Binns (I think) – nice patch tick. Skylark passage was light at first but by 8.45 they were going over in numbers. 80 plus between 8.45 and 9.20 and with maybe another 25 before that. Lighter Mipit passage about 20 birds, also over Chaffinch (3), Siskin (5), Reed Bunting (1) – in addition to lots of local birds. Also of note Barn Owl flushed from the willows at north end of the reedbed – regular inland of the coast road but scarce seaward. Additionally 2 Fieldfare, Chiffchaff and 3 Goldcrests. On a distant flat calm sea about 2000 Common Scoter spread along.

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  4. Nice surprise in the field at the end of our Ormskirk garden late this afternoon was a noisy covey of 10 Grey Partridges feeding alongside a couple of Brown Hares. Made a nice change from the usual hordes of Pheasants and Red-legged Partridges. Last week the highlight was a large flock (1500-2000 birds) of Pink-feet that came and went over three days, and more unusually they were joined by about 400 Canada Geese on one visit.

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