snow buntings at sea level

Sat, Feb 27, 2010

Yesterday, I slammed the brakes on and reversed up the road as I caught sight of a flock of little white birds. Much whiter than anything around at the moment and I knew straight away what they were. Snow Buntings! They’re ten a penny in gardens in Iceland but in this country I’ve only ever seem them on the summits, like this little fella on Cairngorm five years ago:

Snow Bunting on Cairngorm summit

Fantastic little birds and the ones I’ve met on Cairngorm and on the Fisherfield summits were tame to the point of friendly. The Gaelic for Snow Bunting is Eun an t-Sneachda (the bird of the snow) but I prefer the other version, Gealag an t-Sneachda. Geal means white and ag is the feminine form of the diminutive so Gealag means the little white one and Gealag an t-Sneachda means The Little White One of the Snow. Beautiful name.

You can see more of the Snow Bunting on Cairngorm here.

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