Caught during a ringing session at Thetford Nunnery Lakes, having been seen elsewhere in Thetford 23/11/11
No interactions present.
What a remarkable bird! I think I would have put that down as a Redpoll sp, with a wing of 75mm. The upperparts do look dark, like cabaret, but the flanks look rather narrowly streaked, don't they? Is 75mm now the accepted upper limit for a cabaret wing length, then? 73 1/2 in Svensson, then I read 74 somewhere else, now 75!
Super bird, anyway.
PS:How many Mealies are you ringing, this year? I have been getting a few, but I note there are large numbers on one or two ringing blogs.
My Flickr photos...
This was our first redpoll of the autumn! There have been a few apparent Lessers around but they're not using our feeders yet.
My trainer (who does a lot of redpolls) has <1% of Lessers at 75mm. Incidentally, 'our' bird was retrapped by someone else last weekend and measured at 74mm (I measured twice but let's call it 74.5mm!).
Not sure flank streaking points either way (though the background colour is rather buff - better for Lesser?): http://btovrspbbirdtrackchallenge2011.blogspot.com/search/label/mealy%20...
Agreed about the flank streaking. You're probably right about the buff; that is always my big problem with Redpolls....colour-blind to red-brown! ;(
Thanks for the details.
Do you have any other pictures of this bird - especially of undertail?
There's one more pic of the bird at the BirdTrack Challenge blog: http://btovrspbbirdtrackchallenge2011.blogspot.com/2011/12/snowball.html
Not sure if Dave Leech (who took the photos) managed any of the UTCs but I'll check. Several of the UTCs had broad, dark centres - well within the range of normal variation for Lesser and if anything, a little too broad for Mealy. Cheers, Nick
Lat/Lng: 52.40277, 0.75277
OS grid ref: TL873818