Thursday, 27 January 2011

Arctic Roll

Coues' Arctic Redpoll, Beds, Jan 2011. This is a second individual in Bedfordshire this year, coming straight off the back of the highly elusive Lodge bird. This one is with only around 40 redpolls and showed very well when I went to look at it. It's interesting to note how variable the flank streaking appears to be in different shots. In some it looks very light and almost not there, but in others it shows are heavier, darker lines. Similarly the undertail coverts look totally clean in some shots, but perhaps actually show a tiny streak in others?

These are fascinating birds, and ones that have been keeping me occupied all winter so far. Most of my lunchtimes have been spend walking round The Lodge in search of that individual. However in the 40+ hours I've amassed looking through hundreds of redpolls I've only seen the Coues' twice! Very tricky blighters.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Another hybrid quacker

I thought this was going to be a female Pochard x Tufted hybrid, but by pure chance I happened upon this post on Dominic Mitchells blog, with what look like two identical birds. Keith Vinicombe thinks his are Pochard x Ferruginous, albeit at the Pochard end of the spectrum. I actually suspect my bird is identical to his top bird, so maybe it moved to Stewartby Lake from Alexandra Park in London? Stewartby Lake, Beds, 8th January 2011.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Bramble finches

The upper shot was taken with a Canon 400d, and 300mm IS f.4, the lower shot taken digiscoping using a Canon S90, Swarovski ATS 80 HD, 20x eyepiece, and universal adapter. Both shot RAW and converted using Canon DPP, then resized in Photoshop. Pretty similar quality I would say. Bramblings, Southill, 9th January 2011.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Coues' Arctic Redpoll video

More of an interesting Redpoll at The Lodge from Steve Blain on Vimeo.

An interesting Redpoll at The Lodge from Steve Blain on Vimeo.

Coues' Arctic Redpoll

The following shots show a Coues' Arctic Redpoll at The Lodge, 5th January 2011.

It was identified using the following criteria:
* Large size, with a bull-necked appearance
* Small bill which appears parallel sided
* Cream wash to head and chest
* Relatively light flank streaking, which does not reach beyond the wing-bar
* Broad white wing-bar, with no real hint of buff
* Large white rump, with little streaking
* Single, thin, under-tail streak

Appears thick-necked when compared to the (apparent) Lesser Redpoll in front:

Note the area of the white rump:

In this image it is next to a grey Mealy. Straight away you can see the different ground colour to the two birds. The flank streaking reaches much further down the flanks in the Mealy, and is heavier:

Here you can see the single, thin, undertail covert streak:

This bird is the culmination of around two months chasing the redpoll flocks at The Lodge. Observers of this bird (other than myself) included Mark Eaton, Mark Gurney, and Mark Ward. All helped in its identification and have spent many hours searching for these birds since they arrived in November.

Related Posts with Thumbnails