Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Hoary, Redpoll!!!

See what I did there? If not get swatted up on your Redpolls.

I bring good news I finally managed to catch up with one of the Arctic Redpolls at Rainton Meadows. I managed to dip the bird on the morning but thankfully managed to score with a bird on the afternoon. So here is the brief story:

On climbing to the top of the hill we were alerted that some Redpolls had gathered to a mini feeding area. After a few minutes of having a look through the birds I saw a few Mealy Redpolls and a handful of Lessers. Also plenty of Goldfinch and plenty of Siskin around. Then this bird caught my attention, I kept my bins on it and it flew and I was sure I saw a white pale rump. I said "Is that the Arctic?" after some bad directions the bird came further out and then came and sat on the fence in front of us. It very slowly moved its wings down to reveal a nice large pale rump and apparently my mate noted the small stubby bill as well. It flew off and then reappeared minutes later with a few Goldfinch, I believe it was at this point where it showed us its all white rump again. It was all a bit of a blur but I think twice I saw the all white pale rump when it flashed it at the crowd, I saw the bird far better when it was in the tree with 3 Goldfinches so I probably saw the all white rump through my scope better at this point. Smiles all around when it finally flew off and we nailed it as a definite Arctic Redpoll, all were in agreement that it was in fact an Arctic. I find it comforting to know that people present had previous experience with Arctic Redpoll and agreed with the ID.

Until next time, Foghorn out!


  1. Pity you didnt see all 5 of the Arctics

    Pleased for you - my go tomorrow.....

  2. Heyup, where has this 5 arctic redpoll thing come from ? Have people definitely seen 5 different individuals ?

    Certainly appears to be 3 different birds on site, possibly 4 and who knows maybe more ? Or does someone really know ?!!

  3. I think 3 or 4 is a safe assumption at present Steve. I think my bird yesterday could have been the real snowball of a male Ghost of Stringer had first time he found them. It sticks out like a sore thumb.

  4. Your persistence makes me realise how lucky I was with my only Arctic Redpoll some 40 years ago. I too was in the presence of an experienced Redpoller, no less than the late Chris Meede, who, at the time, was in charge of ringing at the BTO.

    I recall it as a bird with a white background overlaid by dark streaking, drinking at a pond with much smaller and. or course darker, Lessers.

    Have a happy and successful New Year, Andrew.