Snow Buntings at Holkham Beach

Second trip of the year to the North Norfolk coast. A much brisker, sunnier day than our New Year’s Day trip to RSPB Titchwell. Hoped to see Shorelarks, but apparently there are only five around the beach at Holkham at the moment and even the hardiest of birders who spent all day waiting yesterday saw none. We did, however, see 60 or so Snow Buntings, Plectrophenax nivalis.

The Snow Bunting is a relatively chunky bunting and in winter has what can only be described as a snowy kind of winter camouflage plumage. It takes on a sandy/buff appearance with more mottling of the males’ upperparts than its black and white of summer.

The “Snow Bunt” breeds in the Arctic regions from Scandinavia to Alaska, Canada, and Greenland and heads south in winter. They are an Amber species in the UK as they are quite scarce here in terms of breeding. So, very nice to see a relatively large number of 60 or so picking over the scrub on Holkham Beach.

Sighted today: Black-headed Gull, Brent Goose, Common Buzzard, Common Gull, Common Scoter, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Kestrel, Lapwing, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Linnet, Mallard, Meadow Pipit, Oystercatcher, Peregrine, Pied Wagtail, Red Kite, Redshank, Robin, Rock Pipit, Sanderling, Stock Dove, Stonechat, Velvet Scoter, Wigeon, Wood Pigeon, Snow Bunting…

Lots of Common Scoter out at sea. 400 or so in this flock alone
Black-headed Gulls at sunset at Hunstanton
Sanderling feeding on razor clam
Common Gull, Holkham Beach

Author: 雷竞技官网

Award-winning freelance science writer, author of Deceived Wisdom. Sharp-shooting photographer and wannabe rockstar.