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Happy gardening!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

A mystery bird!?? Any thoughts?

I'm wondering if anyone out there can identify this little bird spotted in our garden today... it looks similar to a Dunnock but the head colouring is totally different - I've been right through my bird books and am at a loss as to what it is!  If you've any ideas I'd love to know.... below is a photo of it along with a Chaffinch to give an idea of size.


Anonymous said...


It's a Dunnock, just a leucistic one i.e. has a bit of white on it. It's fairly common to see in Blackbirds the odd white feather, sometimes even more to the point of total whiteness. I've also seen it in House Sparrows but know other species can have it too.

Midmarsh John said...

Hello Miranda.
My though is that it is a Dunnock. A search has brought up a few photos of completely white Dunnocks like this one


so my guess is that yours has just a few white feathers. I have seen crows and blackbirds with occasional white feathers.

Sue Garrett said...

I'd say it was definitely a dunnock with some of its plumage affected by Leucism. It's a bit like albinoism in that pigment is missing out of some feathers and dunnocks are one species susceptible to it. (I suppose its a less extreme version of albinoism)It isn't a disease but just causes the bird to have some white feathers. I've seen blackbirds and sparrows with it.

Miranda Bell said...

Thanks so much all of you for speedy replies - the fact that all of you have replied with the same response gives me my answer! I did remember a while back someone posting a photo of a blackbird like this and had wondered if this was something similar but just wasn't sure... birds still eating loads of food - still quite cold in Brittany at the moment but see that next Sunday is forecast for 20 degrees! What next... enjoy the rest of your weekend Miranda x