|Holbolls not illustrated...|
If you are one of those birders poo-pooing the 'Coues's' bit as a new fangled taxonomistic load of rubbish, then look back to my 1938 edition of 'The Handbook' and there we find, not only Coues's, but Lesser, Mealy ( none of this 'Common' nonsense), Greenland, Hornemann's and Holbolls Redpoll.
Wait a minute, Holbolls? What on earth is Holbolls? In 1938 it is an 'uncertain form' and is retained in brackets as a form of Mealy Redpoll from farther north and east in Scandinavia, Russia and Siberia. Its good to know that one of this form was recorded on Holy Island in November 1923...
Rarer still, at Widdrington Tip this week, have been......some birders. I bet if you had walked into Cresswell hide last weekend and mentioned the tip, more birders would have heard of Holbolls Redpoll before one recognised where this site was.
Some years back myself, Nigel and JWR all used to live at Stobswood, just opposite the old brickworks next to this tip site. We used to see Glaucous Gulls and Hoodies each winter here when the site was still operational, and nearby in the woods wildlife abounded with breeding Willow Tit, Tree Pipit and even Wood Warbler. Woodcocks rode through the village at dusk on summers evenings and all five owl species could be seen annually. Mealy Redpolls were annual too, attracted in by the birch trees and by the calls of captive, aviary bred, Mealies kept by one resident for showing purposes.Some good plants are to be found too in this fragment of ancient woodland with Broad leaved Helleborine, Musk Thistle etc.
Only Nigel is a regular there these days.
It just goes to show that if you use some imagination and do your research there will be little places worth checking out not too far from the well beaten birders track. You don't have to sit in a hide all day just because everyone else does...