I didn’t have a lot of energy so it was a fairly brief stop. But, I do love these dinky little characterful finches. There were at least 10 Lesser Redpolls with Siskin (1+), Great Spotted Woodpecker (1), Kingfisher (1) and a variety of other Finches, Tits, Robins and Blackcaps around.
The interesting surprise was to see that at least one of the Lesser Redpolls had a Gold poll! I’m not sure I’ve ever seen or noticed that before but having googled extensively(!) and enquired of those far more knowledgeable than I am, it seems these things do happen but no-one quite knows why. Suggestions include diet (which is most likely - the phenomenon is more common in captive birds), age and gender (see BirdForum thread)
The Gold Top (left & centre) with a typical Red Top (right)
Some footage of the Red Top & the Gold Top
…And, one bird, properly showing off that red poll at the reserve in 2012
Other websites with photographs of gold/yellow/orangey topped Redpolls:
- More on those pesky redpolls @ Birding Frontiers
- Not so redpoll @ Morgithology (Birds, wildlife and ecology in Lothian and beyond) blog
Finally, Mr Mistle is still singing his little heart out although yesterday he did spend much of the day subdued/silent. I hope he's not giving up and thinking of trying his luck elsewhere...