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Redpolls, Poland (1 Viewer)

opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
I am fully aware that the opinions on Redpoll taxonomy are unsettled, but for the sake of this question, let's assume the IOC stance on three species. Consistently with such an approach, I have set out to look for Arctic Redpolls in the Common Redpoll flocks on a site in Poland, right next to the border with Belarus, where a single Arctic Redpoll has been reported earlier that day.

I was able to watch a large flock from very close distance basically indefinitely and I found that the individual variety is huge. There were two birds in particular that caught my attention. The first one I think is a probably just a bright and suitably rotated Common (no rump pictures of this one sadly), while the second one seems to fit all the Arctic traits and it definitely stood out in the flock a lot. What do you think?

Also, THIS is the bird reported from the site, what do you think about it - the rump is nice, but isn't it too streaked on flanks?
 

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Maturin

Active member
Hey Opisska,

with it's intense streaking on the flanks and good visible undertail streak I'd go for flammea for this one.

The second one looks really good for Arctic. No streaking on a pure white rump, no visible streaking on the undertail coverts, really sparse streaking on the flanks, tiny bill and an overall frosty whitish color tone rather than a warm brown one.

Regards,
Maturin
 

CARERY

Well-known member
I wouldn't discard the first bird that easily. Yes, the flanks are rather strongly streaked but is this enough to exclude exilipes? Other features are maybe more in favour with Arctic? Like: pale ear-coverts, overall colour, pure white wingbar, seemingly only very narrow dark streak at undertail covert, puffed feathers/downs at base of bill. Possibly a female? I'm not saying it is one but it could be... There is so much controversy when it comes to Redpoll sp./ssp. ID.

Recently, there have been a few threats concerning Redpolls (useful links in here: http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=353969). Possibly there is a little irruption of paler birds from more Northern latitudes? In Northern Germany Redpolls seem to be everywhere a few frostier than the normal flammea among them.
 
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