Ivan Felton-Glenn's picture


Observed: 1st June 2010 By: Ivan Felton-Glenn
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - course complete
Ivan Felton-Glenn’s reputation in Birds
Species interactions

No interactions present.


RoyW's picture

Lesser Redpoll?

This bird looks very dark, and apart from the white wing bars does not seem to show any of the features that I would generally associate with a Common Redpoll, Carduelis flammea. I would suggest that it is a Lesser Redpoll, C. caberet (which are actually the most numerous redpolls in Britain).
The west Scotland location of the observation may mean that one of the darker northwestern races of flammea is a possibility though, rather than the obviously pale 'Mealy Redpolls' from Scandinavia.

Redpolls were a lot easier before someone decided that they should be 'split' into different species!

Apus's picture


I agree with Roy although not about the possibility of it being a dark race of 'flammea'. A summer record in SW Scotland is almost certainly a Lesser Redpoll.

RoyW's picture

"ALMOST certainly a Lesser Redpoll".

Agreed - this bird almost certainly is a Lesser Redpoll.

I note that although you say you disagree with the posssibility of it being "a dark race of 'flammea'", your wording does apparently leave that possibilility open!?

June 1st would not be an unprecendented date for a bird breeding in Greenland/Iceland to be recorded as a returning spring migrant, and north-western (Greenland/Icelandic) races of Common Redpoll have been recorded breeding in Scotland in the past - so it is not entirely out of the question based on our current knowledge.
Two points to bear in mind are:
1). Birds (and other wildlife) doesn't read the books that tell us where they should be found, and when.
2). The books are continually being re-written because our knowledge, and the actual distribution of species, is constantly changing.

I do not claim to fully understand the features which seperate all races of flammea from caberet, so would (also?) prefer to leave this identification 'open' at present.

PS. Apologies to anyone on Ispot who prefers things to be kept simple, but some ID's just don't fit this catergory!