Sunday, 4 March 2012

Icelandic Common Redpoll photos

Whilst walking around the Lake in the center of Reykjavic my wife said something. I said "what"? She said it again but even though she was less than 2 feet away to my left I still couldn't
hear what she had said. She asked if I was deaf? At which point I said, "No, hang on, there's a redpoll calling 100m to my right!". So off I walked into the band of trees that surrounded the lake. I had seen 3 Redpolls fly over calling earlier in the nearby Cemetery and they did look a little larger and their call lower pitched than our Lesser Redpolls. This bird flitted from tree to tree and I managed to get a few shots of a single bird from below so unfortunately I couldn't get any detail of it's back or rump. Looking at the photos it is quite a brown bird, like a Lesser but with quite a large bill and heavy flank streaks (3 rows) with 3 thin prominent streaks on the undertail coverts. It's quite brown around the face with a prominant brown wing-bar. It had quite a red crown and pink breast so was presumably a male. There is a hint of a glimpse of a white rump but it is inconclusive from these photos due to the angle.

I thought these photos would be of use with springtime approaching and the uncertainty of the races of a lot of the redpolls that move through North Wales in Spring. It would be worth in Spring considering using iPods etc to draw in Redpolls at migration hot-spots and get some photos if possible to clinch their id. Especially the ones moving through in late April and May which presumably are going to be the more northerly breeders.

1 comment:

  1. Steve, again good post. The iPod playing really works and was used many times on the Orme last year with good results. It also worked well in Monts this winter and led to good views of Mealy. I'm sure North western Redpolls do reach the North Wales coast, both from Greenland and Iceland. Bardsey have recorded individuals that fall well within the range of both taxa, while we had a good candidate on the Orme last year. With our Lapland Buntings and Snow Buntings coming from that part of the world, surely 'norwestern' Redpoll should really be on our radars this spring.