Tag Archives: bunting

Wintering Snow Buntings

Snow Bunting - Tap on image to view collection

Wintering Snow Bunting, Norfolk – Canon 1D4, Canon 500mm IS USM f/4 @ f/6.3, 1/1250sec, ISO 400 – © Andrew Sproule

One bird species that I’ve wanted to photograph for some time now is the Snow Bunting. In the UK they are most commonly seen in the winter, arriving from late September and leaving late February early March. Each year an estimated 10-15,000 birds winter here, with the majority staying in the northern regions. However, they can come as far south as the Kent and Welsh coasts as well as some parts of Northern and the Republic of Ireland. A region that they tend to frequent on a regular basis is the North Norfolk coast and although I’ve seen them plenty of times at several well-known locations, I’ve never managed to successfully photograph them until this year.

Snow Bunting - Tap on image to view collection

Wintering Snow Bunting (female), Norfolk – Canon 1D4, Canon 500mm IS USM f/4 @ f/6.3, 1/2500sec, ISO 400 – © Andrew Sproule

The aptly-named snow bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis) is a hardy, medium-sized songbird of the high Arctic. During the breeding season, the adult male snow bunting is largely snowy white, except for a contrasting black back, black wing tips and black central tail feathers. Outside of the breeding season, the male and female snow bunting are more similar in appearance, both developing more buffy plumage. Juvenile snow buntings are distinguished from the adult by a greyer body and head, and a dark brownish-black tail and wings.

Snow Bunting - Tap on image to view collection

Wintering Snow Bunting, Norfolk – Canon 1D4, Canon 500mm IS USM f/4 @ f/6.3, 1/2500sec, ISO 400 – © Andrew Sproule

Snow Bunting - Tap on image to view collection

Wintering Snow Bunting (female), Norfolk – Canon 1D4, Canon 500mm IS USM f/4 @ f/6.3, 1/2500sec, ISO 400 – © Andrew Sproule

Snow Bunting - Tap on image to view collection

Wintering Snow Bunting (female), Norfolk – Canon 1D4, Canon 500mm IS USM f/4 @ f/6.3, 1/2500sec, ISO 400 – © Andrew Sproule

Snow Bunting - Tap on image to view collection

Wintering Snow Bunting (female), Norfolk – Canon 1D4, Canon 500mm IS USM f/4 @ f/6.3, 1/2500sec, ISO 400 – © Andrew Sproule

Snow Bunting - Tap on image to view collection

Wintering Snow Bunting, Norfolk – Canon 1D4, Canon 500mm IS USM f/4 @ f/6.3, 1/2500sec, ISO 400 – © Andrew Sproule

Snow Bunting - Tap on image to view collection

Wintering Snow Bunting, Norfolk – Canon 1D4, Canon 500mm IS USM f/4 @ f/6.3, 1/2500sec, ISO 400 – © Andrew Sproule

Snow Bunting in flight - Tap on image to view collection

Wintering Snow Bunting, Norfolk – Canon 1D4, Canon 500mm IS USM f/4 @ f/6.3, 1/2500sec, ISO 400 – © Andrew Sproule

Next challenge is to photograph the male in its breeding plumage in the summer!!!