Spot the Redpolls (Lessers) - I've become adept to spotting them from the car as I drive past now!
Sunday, 3 January 2010
Sunday 3rd January
Looking after the kids again so a stay at home day. A pair of Coal Tits visited the garden feeders, I'll have to get a box up for them soon and keep my fingers crossed. Quite a common bird to other bloggers but I just can't get enough of this sprightly little gems. The olive-grey mantles and wash of orange on the flanks really stood out out in the sunlight. The snow soon arrived, and I took the kids out snowballing in the nearby orchards. Masses of Fieldfares and Redwings as usual and a couple of Cormorants over, battling against the snow. I also finally got a chnace to check out the Redpolls in the Silver Birch tree at the top of South Street, Barming. Before Christmas I'd found a 'Mealy' after looking up into the tree to see where the drift of seeds was eminating from. With scope in hand I set up and spent a good hour observing the flock of Redpolls taking care not to point the scope towards the windows of the neighbouring houses! There were 12 individuals, separating in 2 distinct groups of 4 and 8 birds
The birds all appeared to be Lesser with the exception of 2 birds in the smaller group which seemed to show some characteristics of Common; paler overall appearance, distinct white wing bar with no buff colouration, pale cheeks, white eye stripe, pale rump and distict white tramlines on mantle, lack of buff colouration on flanks. However they didn't appear much larger or bulkier than than their companions and didn't have the frosted appearance of the birds I'd seen in Ditton Quarry in early 2009. I give up, real hard one to call! I'll keep an eye on them to see if they wear through to 'frosted' plummage. Some poor shots below: