A Siberian accentor was spotted for the first time in Szentendre Island last week. The species rarely ventures this far from its wintering grounds, but an unconventional discovery was made in Hungary, szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu and the Hungarian Ornithological and Nature Conservation Society (MME) reports.

The Siberian accentor’s breeding habitat stretches eastward from the Ural Mountains in northern Russia. The species migrates south to warmer wintering grounds in China and Korea, and vagrant birds have been spotted in Alaska and other states of the US as well.

The species is rarely seen in Europe. Prior to 2015, only 32 individuals have been recorded on the continent, more than half of these in Sweden and Finland. In Central and Southern Europe, the species has been spotted only a few times since the 19th century. Here is the MME’s sighting of the bird in Denmark:

However, last autumn saw an unprecedented influx of the species into 12 countries in the northern region of Europe, where 212 individuals were spotted between October 4 and November 6. Following the news, the Hungarian ornithological community has been paying close attention to the bird, but made no discoveries in the country.

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To their great surprise, the bird was spotted by an amateur ornithologist who posted her photos in a Facebook group dedicated to helping bird enthusiasts identify species. She judged the unknown bird to be a common reed bunting, but also voiced her doubts about the differences in the spotted bird’s “eyebrow” feathers, which did not match her previous sightings of common reed buntings.

Photo: Molnár Lídia / Madárfaj meghatározás Facebook group

After acquiring the exact GPS coordinates, a group of about 40 ornithologists from all over the country visited the place where the bird was last seen. The search was successful, the bird was spotted again, and is now on the list of bird species found in Hungary.

Photo: youtube

Copy editor: bm

Source: szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu, mme.hu

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