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Redpoll NE.London.... (1 Viewer)

KenM

Well-known member
The bird arrived this am briefly (20 secs) on a Northerly wind, a single Redpoll atop Ash tree approx. 20m. distant and in appalling light, hence the bad images (which I had to lighten). The one thing that I thought odd, was the deep, pale super abutting a dark contrasting eye-stripe, never noticing such a marked head pattern before on previous years Redpolls. They have been scarce over the last few years, just the one last year and none the year before, there may not be enough information on these shots, in which case it's not a problem, however my take on it is....that it doesn't look like a cabaret, apart from the previously stated head pattern, the bill looks ''small'' and the under-parts appear quite pale, what might the consensus be if any?


Cheers
 

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Hotspur

James Spencer
United Kingdom
You dont have any of the features in the photos that you'd need to get an ID. Looks fine for Lesser to me.
 

Hotspur

James Spencer
United Kingdom
No. It means from what I can see it doesn't look unusual for Lesser Redpoll and you can't see the features to identify it as other taxon. Redpoll so but no reason to think it isn't lesser.
 

KenM

Well-known member
No. It means from what I can see it doesn't look unusual for Lesser Redpoll and you can't see the features to identify it as other taxon. Redpoll so but no reason to think it isn't lesser.
Any more opinions, as just the one doesn’t make a consensus.

Cheers
 

Ian Byrnes

Well-known member
Any more opinions, as just the one doesn’t make a consensus.

Cheers
Agree with Hotspot...Lesser. I have a flock of 20 near me & they vary quite a lot. Look at these 2 taken over last 2 weeks...look like Arctic, but both are most probably Lesser as both have beige rumps. Its even difficult to see the difference between Mealy & Lesser.
 

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Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Its even difficult to see the difference between Mealy & Lesser.
Interesting you say that as I was just thinking the confusion if any in the OP would be between cabaret and flammea. The pale body with heavy streaking and pale pink breast might favour Mealy imo - they look a bit pale for Lesser but as we know there is extensive overlap. The dark contrasting ear covert patch is quite a good a Mealy feature. It looks like it has extensive white on the coverts too. I find the structure hard to judge on these images as there’s no other birds to compare it to in the image.

Ken, you are as familiar with these Redpolls as anyone, don’t you agree that the images don’t provide enough clarity to go very far with this?
 

Ian Byrnes

Well-known member
Interesting you say that as I was just thinking the confusion if any in the OP would be between cabaret and flammea. The pale body with heavy streaking and pale pink breast might favour Mealy imo - they look a bit pale for Lesser but as we know there is extensive overlap. The dark contrasting ear covert patch is quite a good a Mealy feature. It looks like it has extensive white on the coverts too. I find the structure hard to judge on these images as there’s no other birds to compare it to in the image.

Ken, you are as familiar with these Redpolls as anyone, don’t you agree that the images don’t provide enough clarity to go very far with this?
I opened up the identification of my 2 on Twitter & the consensus was Lesser because the rumps weren't white. I thought they may have been Mealy as they seemed larger than the accompanying Lessers but it may only be because they had fluffed themselves up.

In all honesty - I wanted them to be Arctic's as few are seen in England 😏
 

KenM

Well-known member
As we all know, the Redpoll taxon is a bit of a ''plumbers nightmare,'' seemingly fluid and overlapping enough to create division amongst various authorities hence the call to ''lump.'' It seems to me that speculation abounds and that it depends on which authority one prefers, thus I for one with no definitive ''light'' to follow, have elected to try and apply some common sense myself when confronted with something that doesn't quite tick all the boxes.
Between 11th November '13 through to 7th April '14, I had between several and a dozen Lesser Redpolls (cabaret) plus on my niger feeders daily 6' from my bedroom window, in which time I also had sporadic visits from the odd Meallies (flammea), amongst which, were later joined by two Redpolls that I couldn't quite shoe-horn into flammea or hornemanni , thus I nicknamed them Sub-Arctic Redpolls (heavy flank streaking might suggest the race Islandica or from thereabouts?

There were also some other odd birds that didn't quite tick all the boxes as well, I believe I was very fortunate in having them in such close proximity over such a long period as my images should bear out. I agree with Deb regarding Ian Byrnes Redpolls, in that they look more Meally to my eye than Lesser.

Cheers
 

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Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
I opened up the identification of my 2 on Twitter & the consensus was Lesser because the rumps weren't white. I thought they may have been Mealy as they seemed larger than the accompanying Lessers but it may only be because they had fluffed themselves up.

In all honesty - I wanted them to be Arctic's as few are seen in England 😏
Actually, I was referring to Ken’s birds not your photos Ian but I do think yours look like Mealies although I am not sure how much latitude we should give the rumps!
I agree with Deb regarding Ian Byrnes Redpolls, in that they look more Meally to my eye than Lesser.
See above post #8

I don’t know what Ken’s bird is in the OP - obviously the more common is Lesser but at this time of year, Common Redpoll is also very possible. I had a few Mealies on my feeder in Norfolk just last year amongst the finches and caberet. They are in comparison, bulkier, more bullnecked and noticeably paler on the underparts with a slightly longer tail. The dark line through the eye forms a strongly contrasting patch behind the eye. It was this feature and the pale bellies with heavy flank streaking that I could see in Ken’s images and description as to be features of flammea but there is not enough detail in the images imo to say what they are if the truth be told - seriously they are hard enough with perfectly clear images so I am at the point where I no longer want to ID Redpoll from photos!
 

Ian Byrnes

Well-known member
Actually, I was referring to Ken’s birds not your photos Ian but I do think yours look like Mealies although I am not sure how much latitude we should give the rumps!

See above post #8

I don’t know what Ken’s bird is in the OP - obviously the more common is Lesser but at this time of year, Common Redpoll is also very possible. I had a few Mealies on my feeder in Norfolk just last year amongst the finches and caberet. They are in comparison, bulkier, more bullnecked and noticeably paler on the underparts with a slightly longer tail. The dark line through the eye forms a strongly contrasting patch behind the eye. It was this feature and the pale bellies with heavy flank streaking that I could see in Ken’s images and description as to be features of flammea but there is not enough detail in the images imo to say what they are if the truth be told - seriously they are hard enough with perfectly clear images so I am at the point where I no
Deb/Ken.... your help again please. A sizing shot of a Lesser to the left, FChaff centre & variant to right. Does this help identifying - is the variant a Mealy or Icelandic may be?

Many thanks...
Ian
 

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KenM

Well-known member
A very difficult shot to comment on Ian! Presumably you’ve seen more on the subject bird than the image shows, if you can procure more images profile/rear, one might be able to give an opinion. Clearly you’ve seen a discernible difference between the two Redpolls, we need to see that too if possible.

All the best.👍
 

Ian Byrnes

Well-known member
A very difficult shot to comment on Ian! Presumably you’ve seen more on the subject bird than the image shows, if you can procure more images profile/rear, one might be able to give an opinion. Clearly you’ve seen a discernible difference between the two Redpolls, we need to see that too if possible.

All the best.👍
Hi Ken,
Here are a few shots of different birds...bit grainy as they have been lifted from a video. It looked like the Mealy Redpolls ( if they were) in the flock, foraged together away from the Lessers. The Lessers were noticeably smaller and brown. The reason for doubting myself ref. Mealys is that very few if any have been seen in my area.
 

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KenM

Well-known member
Ian hi,

IMHO...unsure if the recent images are all (mostly) of the same bird, thinking the last two are one and the same?
They don’t look like Lesser Redpoll to me.
I would suggest Meally, as they do look quite “white” to the underparts, wings and rump, to such an extent as to exclude Lesser.

Cheers
 
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