Buntings, A Royal Appointment



A couple of years ago, during the latter part of February, a group of us headed off to the Cairngorm ski slopes hoping to add to our list of iconic Scottish species.

A flock of approximately 30 flitted around the chalet rooftops, occasionally alighting on a small area of well trodden snow, to feed on grain left by some of the lift attendants.

To be fair, I suppose it was inevitable that the sight of a row of long lenses all pointing in the same direction; a patch of undisturbed snow was bound to attract some attention.

“Hi. I’m just being nosey. Are they here?”

“You have just missed them by about 20 minutes.”

“Really? Where were they?”

“Over there, by the lift attendant’s office”

“Oh! Do you think they will come back this way?”

“I’m rather hoping they will use this small stream to wash in?” I replied somewhat optimistically.

“William and Kate?” Doubtfully.

“Right” I was not sure what to make of this. “I see… err… who exactly are they?”

“Prince William and Kate Middleton”

“Oh no! We are here to photograph snow buntings.”

“What are they?”

“Local residents, they look rather like white sparrows.”

“Never heard of them!” She said stomping off.

Snow bunting in the snow-5185

David Featherbe

David Featherbe

I am Kent based and have been taking photographs for more years than I care to remember, which incidentally is about the same sort of time that I have been diving; some thirty years! My images have appeared in Birdwatch, Bird Watching and RSPB Birds Magazines, WWT’s Waterlife and numerous digital photography publications. I sell a good proportion of my work from my own stock at exhibitions hosted by the RSPB and WWT and the Rutland Bird Fair, material, which I constantly update with new images. I agonized over the move away from slide film, making the leap in 2008 as digital finally became the industry standard.

David Featherbe

David Featherbe

I am Kent based and have been taking photographs for more years than I care to remember, which incidentally is about the same sort of time that I have been diving; some thirty years! My images have appeared in Birdwatch, Bird Watching and RSPB Birds Magazines, WWT’s Waterlife and numerous digital photography publications. I sell a good proportion of my work from my own stock at exhibitions hosted by the RSPB and WWT and the Rutland Bird Fair, material, which I constantly update with new images. I agonized over the move away from slide film, making the leap in 2008 as digital finally became the industry standard.

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Glenn Bartley

David, a hearty welcome to our blog – good to see that you did actually succeed to get some good shots of this iconic species – even if William and Kate weren’t there! This is one species that I have not yet been fortunate to see myself.