Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Making a Mealy of it . . .

A garden visitor this morning had me reaching for the ID books, saw it first from the back and it had the pale streaked look of a female siskin but looked longer tailed and a bit bigger. Got the bins on it and saw it was a redpoll. The angle I had it at, it looked pale, streaked but certainly no buff down the flanks and a pale pink tinge to the breast. Looked hopeful for a mealy (!) so quickly reached for the camera and just managed a couple of shots before it flushed up with all the other birds, and as I was on my way out I couldn't hang about in the chance it would return.

Only one of my photos is remotely in focus but having looked at it then studied some ID papers I'm not totally convinced either way as there's so much variation and overlap of ID features between a Mealy and a washed out early spring Lesser and I've now baffled meself with science. Didn't get a look at the rump unfortunately but looking at the photo now you can see it looks to have a pale base between the primaries which could be a clincher. So anyone who would care to offer some expertise can kindly do so in the form of a comment.

Another test of my ID skills fails miserably

A nice male Bully was calling from the cherry tree also this morning, didn't see his missus but they usually turn up as a pair.

And the female Brambling is still visiting, more regularly over the last week or so. This pic was taken a couple of weeks ago actually but she was in again late afternoon today, feeding on the ground as per usual.

The regular Brambling, no doubt feeding up for the
long flight back to the continent as soon as these
easterly winds bugger off and make everybody a bit



  1. Looks similar to a bird I had at Druridge. Was unsure at first, but eventually got a look at rump and put it down as Mealy, but much browner than an obvious Mealy also on site. Hope it returns and you can get a better view of the beak and rump. Looks pretty good though.

    1. Cheers Rob, interesting. I was pretty confident on jizz then started looking in to the finer details and it all became a bit of a blur and talked myself out of it. I'll be in tomorrow so hopefully it may return.

  2. Hi alan
    very hard one this, but im drifting towards lesser, there wasn't any more lesser rp's to compare size? Lesser rp's are rather pale this time of year and maybe the photo is over exposed? Look at the nut on your feeder, that is over exposed aswell. Like i say very hard to tell from this photo, but i will stick my neck out and say lesser redpoll :0 but you know all about my crap id skills ;) lol i'll send it off to a couple of people for more thoughts.

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    2. Reeto, leave it to the experts. Lol .