Sunday, 10 April 2011

I hate Redpolls - yet I love them at the same time!

OK chaps, what's your opinion on this bird. I had it on the last day of Feb at Llyn Alaw whilst "photographing" the Ruddy Ducks. I almost stood on it. My first impression was **** that's pale. It looked pale, obviously a nice male, white tramlines and a whitish wingbar. I didn't see it's rump and although I tried with a dental mirror to see it's undertail coverts I don't know what was going on down there.

My point being you need very good photos to try and ID these birds and even then it's not straight-forward or always possible. If you can't always ID them in the hand then what chance have you got in the field unless they are at the extreme ends of the spectrum.


  1. Not really got a sausage but looks like a dirty marked Meally- its a whole new world I love it.

  2. A fairly pale Lesser Redpoll for me.

    The ground colour of this bird on the scaps and coverts seems the usual dark brown from the photos. A few lessers regularly show white tramlines down the mantle which this bird hints at. Late winter birds can appear surprisingly pale probably through waring/bleaching of the feathers. The flank stripes appear washed out to me and not strong at all. Common (Mealy) often shows very strongly marked flank stripes. The poll and breast wash are within colour range for Lesser Redpoll I think. The male Mealies i've seen over this winter have shown richer crimson poll and paler pink wash. Saying that i'm going off the photos alone which look a little bright so I could be wrong!


  3. I know i've used it before but have a look at these:
    Compare to lessers in my earlier post.

  4. Also this Meally photographed in Sto, North Norway last summer