Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Rainton Meadows - Mealy heaven!

The forecast wasn't good - snow flurries were possible as I set off in totally the wrong direction to come home (North!) Rainton Meadows was the destination again and Mealy Redpolls in much better light? Well at least the midday sun was not an option today!

There were many more Redpolls today, at least 60 and at leat 20 of them were Mealies, try as I might, I couldn't convince myself for the Arctic but that's one for another day!

Lets start off with some Leser Redpoll images.....

The Nyger filled feeders were the reason the birds were concentrated here.






Posing nicely....










A nice male colouring up nicely!






A close encounter with one Lesser Redpoll on the ground....






One Lesser poined by a Mealy Redpoll....






The Mealy Redpolls really were the dominant species at times.....






Apart from the larger size (although female Mealies can be somewhat smaller), the most striking feature of Mealy Redpoll is the overall 'frosty' appearance - an overall grey coloration with the underparts much whiter. The wing bars are a much cleaner white than in Lesser Redpoll and the dark ear covert patch really contrasts in the absence of brown cheeks.












The white rump shows here with a hint of pink staining.....











It all had to end (well twice actually) once for a shower of rain and then the predicted snow flurry! So, I did the hill to the feeder area walk three time. Who needs the gym when birding gives you plenty of exercise :-)

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