Way back in the 1970's when I started birding in Leeds, Lesser Redpolls were commoner than Sparrows. In the garden, at school, whenever I went out, they were almost a permanent accompaniment. It did take me a while to be able to separate them from Linnets in winter. I know - completely different - but I had my Grandad's old Zeiss artillery glasses from WWI (he was British but borrowed them from a dead German), and I was young. I spent ages down at Golden Acre Park noting details of a flock until finally I was able to 100% identify them as
Party of that trauma remains, but the finely barred shawl and distinct wing bar were enough. The other finches routed around on the ground but this remained firmly on the head of a plant. It remained long enough to get a photo. Here indeed is the proof ...
|No mistaking the id of that!|
|one of the many Yellowhammers|
I know Redpolls are still common enough to not warrant a second look in many places, but these are my first for the patch in over five years of watching. There are a few local records on the Herts Bird Club site so I suspect the cold weather may have encouraged some inward movement.
With Siskin flying over this makes the patch total now 50 for the year.