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|Tuesday 6th March 2012, 11:06||#1|
teen London/Surrey birder
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Sutton, Surrey
Blog Entries: 1
Following a report of 2 Mealy Redpolls on my patch yesterday I headed down to have a look. The birds were apparently with a flock of 20 Lesser Redpolls and there was certainly no big flock around but two of the three redpolls that were present did look Mealy-ish to be (links to photographs of one of these birds provided). It doesn't look like one of the classic male Mealies that I feel comfortable shouting (pale, bulky and grey with a striking white rump), but these were the first redpolls that have got me going for flammea this winter. It didn't help that I didn't really have the opportunity to directly compare with Lesser.
The rump and head look pretty good to be but I am well aware that Lessers can be pale in these areas, having seen several with reasonably pale rumps and faces this winter (although I can't recall seeing any this pale, I'm still trying to get a solid gage on what is out of range for a pale Lesser in these areas of plumage... is this bird out of range for bleached/well-marked carbaret?).
The wings look reasonably long and the flank ground colour and streaking seem good to me but I'm wondering about the extent of markings on the undertail coverts and whether it's bull-necked enough. Also, although they might be hard to see if they were there, feathery trousers on the legs.
Last edited by devilbirder : Tuesday 6th March 2012 at 11:10.
|Tuesday 6th March 2012, 11:17||#2|
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Göteborg, Sweden
As you say not a classic flammea. This is a bird I'd like to call an intergrade. Some birds are just not safe to id to either species. Fortunately these two are still just considered ssp in Sweden. ;-)
|Tuesday 6th March 2012, 23:21||#4|
Join Date: Aug 2007
Having had ''Redpolls'' on my feeders since December 4th, normally between 5-10 birds daily (more often present than not) circa 6' away, almost oblivious to my presence. I've discovered that they are extremely variable on rump colour/upperpart ground colour/size and general cosmetics.
That said, the birds with the white frosting (tramlines) on the mantle, ''mostly'' tend to have paler upperpart ground colour, plus much paler contrasting cheeks with paler almost white supercillium (which in turn highlights the black bib).
This combination appears to show a consistency which conflicts with the ''dirtier'' presumed cabaret examples that represent a constituent part of the visiting birds. On occasion I've recognised the paler/darker individuals especially the frosted white or pinky rumped birds, also the adult males with strongly washed rose breasts.
However I've observed that it's not the same birds that have visited throughout this period. It seems that there is an ''interchange roost pool'' of birds that come and go accordingly.
If both flammea and cabaret intergrade where they overlap (Scandinavia)..doesn't that compromise sp ''integrity''?
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