Lesser Redpoll  Carduelis cabaret

Stowe - February 2008

Photos copyright Phil Tizzard

Seemingly another species that is becoming more regular on garden feeders, although this one is the first in Phil's garden for 8 years.  This rather nice Lesser Redpoll appears to be feeding on Niger seed.

Flackwell Heath - February 2007

Photos copyright Jim Rose

These photos are of a Lesser Redpoll which was present in a garden in Flackwell Heath from 22nd and February until 4th March at least.  It is interesting to see the colour ring on it's right leg.  No other rings have been seen.  The ring is a shiny mauve metallic colour with what appears to be a tab, presumably for closing the ring.  It would appear to be an escaped cage bird based on the type of ring and the lack of a BTO silver ring.    A small group of Goldfinches were also present.

Little Marlow Gravel Pit - January 2006

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Photos copyright Adrian Parker

These photos are considered to be of a first winter male Common (Mealy) Redpoll.  It was one of several possible Common Redpolls in the small flock of Redpolls that were feeding on low herbage.  For a discussion of the problems of identification of Common Vs Lesser Redpolls please see the Bucksbirders Yahoogroups Email group.

The photo shows it's bulging heavily feathered neck, broad white wing-bars, stocky build and pale pink extensive breast.  The bird was reported as being noticeably larger than the obvious Lesser Redpolls "cabarets" in same group.

Rowsham - 23rd October 2005

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Photos copyright Mike Wallen

This species has been scarce in the county in recent years.  The early  indications are that this winter may produce more Redpolls. This superb photo clearly shows all of the main features.

Prestwood - 23rd April 2005

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Photos copyright Mike Collard

This single bird provided Mike and Rose Collard with their first garden Redpoll in 19 years.  It had been seen on previous days in a neighbours garden.  It seems that Niger seeds are irresistible!   The presence of the bird is somewhat surprising considering the absence of this species from many sites in the county in the last year or two.

Little Marlow Gravel Pit - 16th February 2002

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Photos copyright Jim Rose

These pictures are of two birds feeding in low herbage next to the fisherman's car park.  They were not bothered about two birders close by.  One of the birds had noticeably whiter wings bars, flanks and underparts and Common (Mealy) Redpoll was considered.  The low late afternoon sun rather accentuates the buff/brownish tones in pictures, particularly in pictures 1 and 3.  Where the plumage is seen out of the glare of the sun the underlying base colour looks more greyish.  The colour of the tail in the last picture may be helpful as Mealy is described as "dark grey with finely edged greyish-white or buffish white" (Finches and Sparrows - Clement, Harris and Davis) and Lesser "blackish-brown with fine narrow buff or buffish brown edges on outer webs and white or whitish on inner webs". 

The conclusion of the Bucks Rarities Committee was that these did not show all of the features of Mealy Redpoll and were within the range of Lesser Redpoll, so they were considered to be the latter.

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