A fantastic day skiing in Sierra Nevada with friends Ancy, Bob and Gill, was made all the more perfect by the Alpine Accentors that provided very good photo opportunities. Most people don´t notice these sparrow-like little birds that flit around the restaurants up there, but a closer look shows how much more interesting they are.
The russet red/brown streaked flanks, spotted under-tail and wing coverts, and the black & white spotted "Bib" are much more attractive than any house sparrow, or indeed hedge sparrow, to which they are closely related. However as this species is normally only found at altitudes of 1800 to 3000 metres they are all the more special for that reason.
There are very few creatures that choose to live in such a harsh environment, so it is nice to see wild birds that have adapted well to the cold. They are not afraid to take advantage of human activity to supplement their diet, table scraps provide rich pickings for them during the ski season.