Thursday, 23 January 2014

Mealy Redpoll

Today's destination was Warnham Nature Reserve and in particular the Woodpecker hide. In the winter it is one of the best locations in the county for being able to get close to the birds and for getting good pictures opportunities. You need a bright day for the best results but it's always worth a visit.

The Mealy Redpoll was our main target. Redpolls show a lot of variation in appearance and it can be difficult to identify the Mealy unless it is sitting alongside the more common Lesser Redpoll for comparison. Fortunately a number of experienced birders had also turned up so we would be able to confirm any identifications we made.

There were also a number of Lesser Redpolls flying into the feeders and perching in the surrounding trees.

Lesser Redpoll

The Mealy was putting in an appearance about every twenty minutes. Unfortunately he was flying direct onto the feeders rather than using one of the many available perches. I am never sure if it is better to have the bird sitting on  a grubby looking feeder or looking unnatural floating around in mid air. Judge for yourself in the following pictures. Replacing the metal perch with a branch is possible but it takes a lot of work.

Mealy Redpoll

On the feeder

And, on the feeder showing a comparison with the Lesser Redpoll.

Lesser on the left and Mealy on the right

 There seems to have been a shortage of the smaller birds around of late so it was nice to see so many at Warnham.

Long-tailed Tit




I just wish I could get this selection of birds visiting the feeders in my Garden.

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