Sunday, 1 April 2012

Redpoll puzzlers

A large movement of Redpolls this morning on the Great Orme with well over a hundred birds seen on the headland (and many more passing over I'm sure). I had one lovely crispy white Mealy Redpoll land briefly and saw a few others that had me humming and harring. Here's a few to get a discussion going......

A lovely male Lesser Redpoll in the the gorse at the North End.

Loads of Redpoll this morning - a group of five here, a typical little flock dropping out of the sky.

This bird landed on the hawthorn above me so unfortunately I didn't really see the rump. The bird shows a nice white wingbar and the undertail coverts are gleaming white, the face was nice and pale as was the hind neck. Another Mealy?

Another suspected Mealy Redpoll but only seen from below - gleaming white underparts with a nice white vent and undertail coverts.

I wish Redpolls were as easy as this. This fine male Yellowhammer was in full song on the limestone pavements this morning! I only get one or two individuals each year so this one gave me a real buzz.

For information - 2 drake Surf Scoters still off Old Colwyn this evening along with drake Long tailed Duck and some Velvets. 9 Velvets were present late morning.


  1. Interesting post as ever Marc!

    I don't have the energy to plough through tons of literature now to comment on all the birds but one point is the misconception that every redpoll with unmarked undertail coverts is a Mealy etc

    I rememeber seeing Lessers (id by measurements etc) in the hand on Enlli that had no unstreaked undetail coverts and remember being confused by this fact as there was a paper in Birdwatch ion the mid-90's that perpetuated this myth. Maybe Steve or the other ringers might want to contribute to this discussion??

    Be interesting to learn more how the vocalisations differ between species/sub-species. The northern types I saw on Shetland a few years ago certainly had different calls.

    Good Birding


  2. That nice profile shot looks fine for a Mealy even without seeing the rump.