Saturday, 3 January 2009

There's no(w) Bunting in Cornwall

The British Press's faces have been left as red as a Robin's breast after publishing photos of what they claim to be a 'rare' Snow Bunting in Helston, Cornwall. The photos of the bird (pictured below), where published in the national press and online news sites, were spotted by birdwatchers who quickly re-identified the bird as a partially albino Chaffinch, one of Britains commonest garden birds. The bird turned up in the Cornish garden of 58 year-old Janet Davies, who had recently returned from an organised birdwatching tour of Norway, where she failed to see Snow Bunting. But upon returning home to Cornwall Mrs. Davies spotted the bird in her garden and mis-identified the abnormal Chaffinch as a Snow Bunting, a bird that would be a very good find in Cornwall, but one that can found quite easily on the east coast of the UK in winter and quite regularly in other coastal locations around the rest of the UK.
The story of the 'rare fine' caused a flurry of activity in the nations press, but some websites, notably the Daily Mail, have as yet refused to post readers comments that point out their glarring mistake.

That's no Snow Bunting! Photographs of the albino Chaffinch published by the press (right, Times online, left Daily Mail online)

The news items can be found here:

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