Whoops ... At our home at the southern end of Snake Mountain, Cornwall
On 3/31/2011 4:40 PM, Ian Worley wrote:
> This afternoon a flock of 32 Redpolls found our feeders and were busy
> on the feeders and the ground underneath for at least 30 minutes. Of
> late we've only seen one or two Redpolls every couple of days or so.
> In this group was one very noticeably larger bird. I'd love to have
> some thoughts from those who know about the larger Redpolls of what it
> may be. When I first glanced at a Niger seed feeder and saw it filled
> with Redpolls, I was quite startled by a clearly larger bird, which I
> then realized was indeed also a Redpoll. I later watched for several
> minutes the bird in a group of 25 or so birds on the ground. It
> generally stayed near the edge of the group.
> The body length appeared 15-20% larger than that of the other
> Redpolls. This was especially noticeable as they sat on the perches
> of the feeder. The body volume was really quite noticeably larger ...
> maybe 50% or more larger. Seemed pudgy compared with the other Redpolls.
> The body striping was bold and extended well up the neck to a well
> defined dark necklace. The face was darker than that of the other
> Redpolls and there was a hint of patterning in the malars. The body
> striping seemed blackish with a very slight touch of brown perhaps;
> the dark parts of the back likewise had a very slight tint of warming
> brown; and the face likewise had a faint brownness. All this being
> the case, the overall appearance of the bird was that it was slightly
> lighter in coloration than the other Redpolls, i.e. lightly frosted.
> Other than the crown, there was no red coloration anywhere. Notably,
> the crown was distinctly more brown than red, and most evidently less
> bright and showy than the crowns of any other Redpoll in the flock.
> Any thoughts on species/variety would be appreciated.
> By the way, one of the other Redpolls with no red tinting of the
> breast was striped as the others, but distinctly cream colored on the
> breast, belly, and flanks.