Wednesday, 12 June 2013

60. Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta)

Rock Ptarmigan looks similar to Willow Ptarmigan, and their ranges overlap in northern Europe - both turn white (with the tail remaining black) in winter, but the male Rock Ptarmigan has black lores whereas Willow's are white (females are trickier!). Their habitat preferences can also be a clue with Rock Ptarmigan generally found on mountainsides, tundra and rocky terrain and Willow preferring forests and scrubby tundra. In summer the Rock Ptarmigan's upperparts turn grey-brown with fine barring, not as red-brown as Willow Ptarmigan's.

Unsurprisingly after yesterday's efforts, today I have chosen a photo of a Rock Ptarmigan in its white winter plumage with the hope that I'll be able to make a better job of it in the limited time available.

Rock Ptarmigan, ©omarrun, via Flickr Creative Commons.
Rock Ptarmigan sketch.

Hmm, I think it's a slight improvement on yesterday.

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