alisonpollock's picture

Unknown bird March

Observed: 5th March 2007 By: alisonpollock
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A very distinctive head/eye stripe pattern with buff and chestnut head colouring.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


bobthebirder's picture


I agree with Alison that the head pattern is very unusual, far too chestnut for a reed bunting. The trouble is it doesn't really match anything else. The closest I can find is a yellow-browed bunting from Siberia, but our bird is too grey on the upperparts to be this. Normally I would say that the photo is misleading and it must be a normal reed bunting, but here we have 3 clear photos all showing chestnut above and below the eye. So I suppose it must be a reed bunting, but not like anything I've seen before.

Bob Ford

ophrys's picture

I agree

Yes. I went for Reed, because most of the plumage fits. It is lacking a darker row of feathers above the supercilium, though, and has a broad, pale chestnut stripe there, instead. The tertials are also very broadlly pale on the outer web, perhaps more than most Reed. I still think it is a Reed, though!

alisonpollock's picture

My unusual reed bunting

Thank you both, it puzzled me as it didn't really fit anything fully. The colours were very strong, particularly the chestnut, so I wasn't confident at all. I think you're right, and thanks for solving this little mystery after 4 years!