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Billede information:
Fugleart: Værling sp. - (Emberiza sp.) - Bunting sp.
Titel / info: Female, probably 2cy
Lokalitet: Västervik, Sverige
Dato: 29. januar 2012
Billede info: Found on the 26th of January and still present. Associating with a flock of some 50 Yellowhammers at a feeder in the backyard of the discoverer.

The bird was not accepted as a Pine Bunting by the Swedish RC.
Billede opsætning: Canon EOS 7D + Canon EF 400/5.6 L USM
Fotograf: David Erterius, Sverige
Uploadet den: 31. januar 2012
Hits: Billedet har været vist 4707 gange.


David Erterius skriver tirsdag 31. januar 2012 kl. 14.07
To me, the overall appearance is quite different to a Yellowhammer. Except for the whitish belly and whitish outer webs on the primaries, note the more contrasting pattern on the head and the back. In my eyes, the headpattern on the two images in the lower corners gives the impression of Little Bunting, while the one in the upper left corner resembles Reed Bunting.

Please feel free to add your opinion on the id of this bird!

David Erterius skriver tirsdag 31. januar 2012 kl. 14.28
Here's two images of another female Pine Bunting, which has recently been discovered in Latvia, for comparison:

Mark Andrew Hammond skriver tirsdag 31. januar 2012 kl. 14.29
Hi David
Do you have any comments on the size of the bird compared to Yellowhammer?



David Erterius skriver tirsdag 31. januar 2012 kl. 14.41
The size of this bird was like a Yellowhammer, there shouldn't be any difference in size bteween Pine Bunting and Yellowhammer. The question here is if this bird can be safely identified as a Pine Bunting, or if a hybrid Yellowhammer x Pine Bunting can look like this. Pale Yellowhammers, lacking yellow tones in the plumage is maybe another option, even though this bird has a more contrasting general appearance, see my first comment.

Jan Jörgensen skriver tirsdag 31. januar 2012 kl. 18.37
This bird is at the moment heavily discussed on Facebook under 'Vår Skådarvärld' but unfortunately in Swedish only. The question is, as noted by David, can a female Pine like the suggested one here, which is reported to lack any visible yellow or greenish tones - including the axillaries - safely be identified as such?

Thomas Johannes Simonsen skriver tirsdag 31. januar 2012 kl. 21.18
Well, the bird that haunted Store Heddinge, Stevns, Denmark a summer some ten years ago springs to mind. It was originally thought to be a 2nd year female Pine Bunting, but later (after much discussion) people generally agreed it was more likely a Yellowhammer without any yellow or green whatsoever since it never developed the reddish-brown belly seen in older female Pine Buntings (as far as I remember). I saw the bird a couple of times and from memory, I would not rule out that this could be a similar bird.


Klaus Malling Olsen skriver tirsdag 31. januar 2012 kl. 21.30
To my eyes, this looks much more like Pine Bunting than the infamous Stevns-bird, which was paler and greyer, lacking any worm brown plumage traces and just looked bleached and untidy.
The few times i have seen female Pine bunting "live", it always have reminded me of a Yellowhammer with colouration of Reed Bunting, being not just a "Yellowhammer lacking yellow", but a bird basically patterned in white. brown and black.
As always, photoes can allure you; I would like to see the actual bird in the field before making a(n) almost 100% ID.

David Erterius skriver tirsdag 31. januar 2012 kl. 22.32
Apart from the characters visible in these images, I can add the following about the live experience of the bird:

1. No traces of yellow in the plumage. On the photos, the forepart of the supercilium may look yellowish from some angles, but that was in fact a buffish tone.

2. Completely white underwing, clearly visible through the scope when the bird was preening and stretching its wing.

3. Belly pure white. Which made the perched bird very distinctive and eye-catching seen from a distance in the surrounding trees and bushes. Actually, it was possible to pick out the bird from the flock of Yellowhammers with the naked eye some 25 metres away.

4. Throat and sub-moustachial stripe clearly buff-toned.

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