...was this Rustic Bunting. According to Sparrows of the United States and Canada, this bird breeds in the Paleartic from northern Scandinavia to northern Siberia and should be wintering in China or Japan or thereabouts. But this little guy decided to head to Saskatchewan. The book lists the North American records of this bird, which are few and all from the west coast. Regular visitors to this blog would have noted the odd way in which this post has developed. Photos were posted first without context, followed by video. And now, on December 8, this paragraph. The reason for this is because we were consulting others to confirm the ID, as stated in this post to Saskbirds, using the blog as a convenient way to share the images and video, and were in the process of making sure the sighting is documented as well as possible.
These photos were shot by Harvey Schmidt (H) today (Dec 4).
December 5 Update:
Here's video of the bird, closely zoomed (See Dec 6 update below for better video).
Here's HD video of the bird with juncos (See Dec 6 update below for better video).
Both videos shot by H on December 4.
December 6 Update:
Here's very good HD video shot by H of the bird on December 6. This is the better video I was referring to above. Probably the best of the lot.
December 7 Update:
Here's video of the bird hunkered down in a depression near our big feeder, which those of you who have been here will recognize. H shot this video yesterday.
December 8 Update:
It has turned cold, dipping to -34 overnight. The bunting was here off and on yesterday and again today.
Here's HQ video shot by H on Dec. 6, which gives a good size comparison of the bunting and the juncos.
December 10 Update:
This will be the last update here. The bunting has been showing up regularly, but not always with the juncos. There has been a little influx of redpolls with the colder weather and it seems to get along better with them. I'll post notice on Saskbirds of the last date seen when it happens. Happy holidays!
December 12 Update:
Here's photographs of the bunting today in extreme windchill conditions.
This will be the final update on this post. Happy holidays!