squirrel's picture

Twite or corn bunting?

Observed: 23rd August 2009 By: squirrelsquirrel’s reputation in Birdssquirrel’s reputation in Birdssquirrel’s reputation in Birds

seen in large flock of about 30+ birds. please note this was seen in august not recently

Species interactions

No interactions present.


John Bratton's picture

I think they are redpolls,

I think they are redpolls, but I can't remember which redpoll is the usual one. The lesser?

Buckel's picture

Twite or Corn Bunting

I think you will find these are juv Goldfinch, Twite would be found on the beech and the bird is to slight and the bill to small for Corn Bunting the bird on the right seems to have the black and yellow markings in the wing. juv's Goldfinch do not have the black, red and white colouration to the head as you see here plain gold. The spotted breast is common in many young finches.

er2938's picture


I agree with John. My first instinct would be redpoll, but an exact ID is difficult due to the light on this picture. They don't look like juvenile goldfinches to me, they are too round and the spotting doesn't match.


tootsietim's picture

Probably redpoll of some sort

They have that redpoll look about them, particularly the right hand bird in classic guide book profile.

I can see what Adrian means by the hint of yellow on it's wing suggesting goldfinch, but I think it is actually a bud or leaf, not the birds plumage.

tyto_glaucops's picture

Bird I.d

I would have a good guess at these birds being Linnet. Although the light is poor , the chest plumage is very similar and so is the beak.


squirrel's picture

thanks for the commments,

thanks for the commments,


drbob's picture


Although not the best of photographs on which to make a diagnosis I would plum for either female (or juvenile) Linnet (followed by twite). The bird on the right does it for me with its two-tone upper and lower wing colouration.

RoyW's picture

I have no doubt that these are Linnets.

Although they have declined in numbers Linnets are still the most common of the small, streaky, brown finches, and shoul be taken as the 'yard stick' frm which other species should be eliminated (although they are perhaps less common than Goldfinch which has been mentioned as a possible ID).

In the field juvenile Goldfinches could easily be eliminated by waiting for a good view of the wings - juvenile Goldfinches lack the black and red face markings of adults but still have the distinctive broad yellow wing bars after which the species is named.
Although colours cannot be made out clearly in this photo, juvenile Goldfnches have much plainer faces, larger + longer pointed beaks, and the yellow wing bar would be clearer on the right hand bird.

Redpolls (all species and ages) have yellow beaks, and have stronger streaking on the flanks than across the breast (not the case here), they also lack any obvious pale clouring on the primary feathers in the wing (the pale 'bar' that can be seen on the bird on the right).
BTW - Lesser is the redpoll species most commonly found in Britain John.

Twite, although very similar to Linnet, have a pale, often orangy unmarked throat - the throat on these clearly shows dark & pale stripes.

All of the markings are typical for female/juvenile Linnets, with the pale 'bar' showing on the closed primaries of the right bird being the white flash that shows on the wings when they fly.

(Corn Bunting is a bulkier, larger headed, bird with a obviously heavier beak.)