Bird, bug, butterfly and a wild variety of photos from Belarus, Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Scotland and Spain by Irish wildlife photographer Patrick J. O'Keeffe and invited guests

Sunday 31 March 2013

SNOW BUNTING (Plectrophenax nivalis) 1st winter male at Ballyieragh South, Cape Clear Island, Baltimore, Co. Cork, Ireland

Click external link here for detailed species information
 Click external link here to see distribution map and to hear calls
The Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis) is of the longspur family Calcariidae which is in the genus Plectrophenax. This circumpolar species breeds mainly in the arctic mountainous regions of North America and Eurasia. Isolated populations also breed south of this range in upland areas.   
Apart from small numbers breeding in the Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland, this is an uncommon and local winter visitor, from October to March, at coastal locations in Britain and Ireland. It occurs singularly or  in small flocks at shingle beeches near the edges of sand dunes, harbour piers and headlands. Feeding close to the ground, it can be easily overlooked and difficult to locate as cryptic colouration helps it blend into the background.
Patrick J. O'Keeffe / Raw Birds