31 Jan 2014

Redpoll central - now a Mealy in the garden.

Following on from the possible Coue's Arctic I've had a mealy visit the garden on and off for the past week. I even managed to get a couple of photographs through the kitchen window:

There's also been another possible candidate and at least 4 different lesser Redpolls seen on the feeders together.

Here's a Lesser for comparison:

With Steve calling in for a brew and the Mealy again being seen on the feeders we decided to put a mist net up  in the garden for a short while (whilst the weather was calm and the rain had at last stopped). One of the first birds we caught was a Mealy and we soon had a Lesser to compare it with. The Lesser had a wing length of 68 mm whilst the Mealy was a stonking 77 mm.

We aged it as a 2nd calendar year bird as there was an obvious moult contrast in the greater coverts and the tail looks typically pointed. The undertail coverts were quite streaked but the streaking was dull.

There was possibly a faint pink tinge to the cheek coverts suggesting a young male but we left it un-sexed.
Finally here's a selection of photos Steve took showing comparison with the Lesser Redpoll.

 Note how my hand holding the Lesser is blue with cold.......................

Redpolls, I love em.

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