james spencer's picture

Mealy Redpoll

Observed: 24th October 2013 By: james spencerjames spencer’s reputation in Birdsjames spencer’s reputation in Birdsjames spencer’s reputation in Birds
Mealy 2
Description:

Very pale redpoll sp with white super and wing bars, no brown tones and lots of streaking.

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

ophrys's picture

Redpoll

It does look pale, but without a view of the rump and back, it would be impossible to agree. They are very variable and, even in the hand, some are difficult to assign to species (if indeed they are separate species, rather than intergrades of the same).

Any more pics?

Ian
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/52163027@N02/

Isavar's picture

I agree with Ian. A view of

I agree with Ian. A view of the rump would be necessary. Even then it is sometimes very hard to tell them apart in the hand so i would definitely not make a decision based on this pic.
Getting down to species is good enough, always better to be accurate rather than specific when it come to good data.

Nice Redpoll to me :-)

Isabel
iSpot Biodiversity Mentor for the London area

james spencer's picture

Hi guys, I have to disagree

Hi guys, I have to disagree with all you have said. This Redpoll, although photographed in warm light is clearly a mealy. I dont have other photos but there is another photo by Martin Garner which I cannot post but here is the link

https://twitter.com/birdingfrontier/status/393472490246131713/photo/1

There were 3 Lesser Redpolls with this and the cold tones to the plumage were evident (very very pale) compared to the brown Lessers. Pale enough to be an Arctic Redpoll although the streaking puts paid to that. The state of the rump is largely irrelevant for the ID (mealy goes from fully streaked to very Arctic like) but it was white with streaks. Buff tones on the mantle are present in all but the whitest Redpolls. With regards the buff-tones in the wingbar and super they are due to the warm light - hence the description.

Isabel - Lesser Redpoll and Common Redpoll are treated as full species in the UK although not worldwide.

ophrys's picture

" have to disagree with all you have said"

...and I have to disagree with some of what you say. The other link you give I would be happier with, but we are basing it on what you have shown here. The bird shown here cannot be taken to species without more views, and the rump and back would be important to that. The state of the rump is far from irrelevant as the ground colour of it, not the streaking, is important to differentiate cabaret and flammea. If it was a white ground colour, then you could have said that in your description and we could have used that in deciding whether to agree or not. I would have been happy to agree if you had described more features.

I ring a good number of Redpolls and I stick by the fact that this bird cannot be identified with any certainty from the single photo provided...it is not "clearly a mealy", but does seem pale and so worthy of another look (but we did not have that).

Ian
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/52163027@N02/