Friday, January 04, 2008

A better day...





Above - Top - Mealy Redpoll, Centre - Lesser Redpoll ? and Bottom 3 Redpolls that look like lessers but the one at the very bottom was ?...

Today started in the same vein as the rest of 2008 so far. Dark bleak and pouring. Snow seems to have gone but it is still cold. The wind a moderate SW5.

By mid morning the rain had eased and it was the brightest day so far this week, so I rang ADMc and suggested a short jaunt out.

Our first stop was to Shilbottle to look for the Redpolls. After walking a hundred yards down a field edge a single bird flew from the ditch winking its white rump at me as it went. A single Mealy Redpoll perched up on a small hawthorn for a few seconds then flew across to the bottom of the field. We continued along to a rough seeded edge and found the rest of its mates as they flew up into the same hedge line. 15 Redpolls in total but what a mix. As is their want, they did what Redpolls do and flew up and down, from bush to ground, constantly, never still for a minute. We did see 2 definate Mealies and maybe 3 or more definate Lessers but the rest could have been either /or as they showed some mixed characters.

Even the bird I have labelled above as a Lesser was quite big, Goldfinch sized ( there were two with the redpolls to compare sizes) and looked unlike the little rusty jobs we see buzzing around with Siskins. The bird in the pic is a first winter,and can be aged by the pointed shape of the tail feathers, adults being more rounded at the tip.

The rest of the flock will need to go down as Redpoll sp as they flew off towards another field leaving us wondering...Also here 2 Bullfinches, and 4 Reed Buntings.

Next on to the Long Nanny. No sign of the Short toed Lark, maybe it has succumbed as suggested by someone who thought that it looked poorly the other day. We are the only people in the county to have dipped out on Snow Buntings at this site!. Some compensation was had though when we had 22 Twite, 1 showy female Merlin and a distant Peregrine causing panic amongst 500 Golden Plovers in the back fields. 4 Roe Deers fed over there too.

6 comments:

Blyth Birder said...

That bottom bird looks larger (more rounded) and paler than the 2 above it.

This makes interesting reading:

http://igoto.co.uk/qhg

I can see me adding Redpoll to my 'ignore' list as I'm totally confused by it all.

Boulmer Birder said...

Oh no BB2. They are the most fantastic little chaps. As a child I used to keep one or two in an aviary ( don't ask). Their calls would attract wild bitds down for a look and I sometimes saw Mealies then. They were the first bird I could id a mile away by flight call aged 10! One of my favourites, but always a challenge...

Blyth Birder said...

I suspect the lanes around Shilbottle may see a few slow-moving cars with x4 bino-wielding-passengers inside tomorrow?

Might even head up myself - nowt doing around here at the minute.

Shilbottle then up to the Long Nanny I reckon.

darrell j prest said...

wish i could see some redpolls

Ipin said...

How bloody inconsiderate of the short-toed lark to cark it two days before the birdrace, I hope the snowbunts havn't gone too - could be a long slog for the fat doctor for nowt!! Precisely where in shitbottle are these redpoll??

Brian said...

Great post Boulmer Birder and very informative, I struggle with flight calls now never mind when I was ten, good with meccano though !!!
Brian