miked's picture


Observed: 5th September 2008 By: miked
iSpot team
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Redpoll 4713

Which redpoll actually in the arctic

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Blewit Boy's picture

What a...........

What a sweet little thing.


miked's picture

Wonder if it could actually

Wonder if it could actually migrate all the way here, took me 2.5 days by train and plane, suspect it might take a Redpoll a bit longer.

RoyW's picture

Theoretically it could migrate here - taking perhaps 6-8 days

The actual distance between Kirovsk and the Shetland Isles is just over 1800km in a roughly south-westerly direction. This sort of distance isn't a problem for a small bird (and species including Goldcrests probably do travel to Britain from this region). Studies like this one http://blx1.bto.org/pdf/ringmigration/24_2/hall-karlsson.pdf have shown that small birds may typically travel 2-300km at a time on sucessive nights.

It's most likely that this bird didn't reach our shores though unless it was lost - Common Redpolls from north-east Russia and Finland tend to migrate south-east to central Russia. The ones that reach Britain and central Europe come from the rest of Scandinavia (at least that's what current understanding from ringing recoveries tells us!).

miked's picture

Thanks for that very

Thanks for that very intersting comment. I am testing the system again here and have put up an image from google earth showing the distance from Norway to Scotland across the often stormy north sea. It turns out that its longer than the 2-300km unless they go via shetland or one of the further south routes.
Kirovsk is somewhere above the W in White sea.
Remarkable that these small birds can make these long sea crossings.

RoyW's picture

Longer flights may be forced at times

The 200 to 300km/day from the study I linked above is an average figure. Obstacles like the North Sea are crossed by large numbers of small birds each spring and autumn, with only a very small percentage of these making a pit stop on the way (some do land on boats and/or oil rigs).

Try internet searches for the bird "name & number" combinations below for a couple of stories of long distance flights by birds;

    Goldcrest AH4076

(380miles or 611km from Norway to Yorkshire within 24hrs).

    Godwit E7

(7,150miles/11,500km from Alaska to New Zealand without stopping).