A quick glance at the bill of this month's mystery bird (plate 116, on page 442) should have quickly narrowed down the options to a finch (Fringillidae), bunting (Emberizidae) or sparrow (Passeridae). A closer look at the bill reveals a distinct 'S' shape to the cutting edge of the lower mandible, and this, in conjunction with the longish tail and the wavy edge to the dark tertial centres (particular

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