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Bunting trouble | Kent, UK (1 Viewer)

louise S

Active member
Sweden
Hello,

I have a few photos of buntings (or similar) from today in Kent, that I'm having trouble identifying. My guess for the first was reed bunting and the third maybe skylark; no idea about the second. I still find corn bunting/female yellowhammer/reed bunting difficult to distinguish from a distance though.

Any suggestions?
Thanks :)

1612290204855.png 1612290251067.png 1612290300353.png
 

louise S

Active member
Sweden
Oooh I hadn't even considered a linnet. Thanks :)

I was caught between corn bunting and yellowhammer for #1. It's harder to tell all these buntings apart than I thought!
 

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Although, it is already correctly identified imo, first bird is a Corn Bunting for me, too.
Features against Reed Bunting are:
- pink lower mandible
-bill gives the impression of beeing to large for this species
-in many Reed Buntings, the malar stripe is broader, more prominent and blacker than in this bird
-in some Reed Buntings, the rump is paler grey, contrasting slightly with the darker and browner back
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Oooh I hadn't even considered a linnet. Thanks :)

I was caught between corn bunting and yellowhammer for #1. It's harder to tell all these buntings apart than I thought!
It is definitely a Corn Bunting Louise - note the overall pale light brown olive tones, relatively plain features, and sloping forehead to a very heavy bill, large head and small eye. In other words if you see a fairly nondescript, bulky bunting with no outstanding field markings and a noticeably chunky bill, you are likely looking at a Corn Bunting rather than any other bunting species! 😉
 

louise S

Active member
Sweden
Thanks for all of these! If #1 is a corn bunting, I actually have one more to add to this - after a fashion, we identified this one as a yellowhammer. To me, though, it looks completely identical to #1. Do you agree with yellowhammer or is this a corn bunting too?

1612300755415.png
 

louise S

Active member
Sweden
Oh interesting! My partner posted this photo to a local birding site and about eight people have told us it's a yellowhammer :p. Never knew this could be so contentious!

Just out of curiosity, what did you see as the defining features in this case?
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Louise your bird has a featureless greyish rump. Yellowhammer has a warm brown/slightly rufous rump with variable streaking.

see here

Note the face pattern too - the stripe behind ear coverts does not continue in an unbroken line to the rear of the eye as it often does in Yellowhammer, making for a plainer face. The bill is large and yellowish - on Yellowhammer it is smaller and grey.

There are other features but others may elaborate.
 
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