Thursday, 3 March 2011

flying white-rumped needle in a very woody haystack

That pretty much describes what it's like finding a Mealy Redpoll in Banstead Woods. Early this afternoon Ian Jones and I, after a relatively poor morning, bumped into about fifty Lesser Redpolls feeding in larch trees near the Reads Rest Lane entrance to the Woods. I very quickly got onto a Mealy Redpoll. The conditions were excellent, the birds were feeding low down and the sky was starting to brighten up. The bird stuck out like a sore thumb amongst the Lessers and the rump was seen well. There were probably more, it was difficult to judge how many birds were involved.

You can see the rump clearly in this image

I am on sixty for the year at the patch, which is one greater than my total at this point last year. I've missed Peregrine, Red Kite and Marsh Tit in the last week or so and have learned today that a Barn Owl evaded my eye in January. The birds I had got at this point last year are Canada Goose (not to worry), Cormorant (not to worry) and Egyptian Goose (gonna be bloody hard); Mealy Redpoll, Curlew and Grey Wagtail are the birds I didn't have at this point last year.