It was another very difficult to identify species but we think it is a Black-headed Bunting, who's close relative, the Red-headed Bunting, it sometimes interbreeds with. Adult males in breeding plumage are striking with a black head, reddish back and yellow underparts but females and young birds are much more tricky. I wont go into too much detail but it has a slightly darker patch behind its eye (ear coverts), streaking on the head, very yellow underparts and quite a long bill. It is quite muted generally which might indicate a young female (approx. 1 year old). Jason (Assistant Warden), who found the bird, has experience of the species from The Farne Islands, on the east coast, but this is a new bird for me, so if anyone can add to the debate please feel free.
|Female Black-headed Bunting|
|The lack of 'warm' red-brown tones in the upper parts possibly indicate a young bird|
|Some crown and mantle (back) streaking is visible in this photo|
|All pictures Black-headed Bunting, Edward Stubbings|
Eddie Stubbings, Skomer Warden