Big as a Sheep
…was our size estimation for Greenland Redpolls. I think we saw them everyday in various places on Unst and Fetlar and even a couple on south Mainland (latter only fly overs). Almost Brambling-sized in direct comparisons. Plumage tone varied from warmer and browner to slightly colder and greyer. Constant though were striking 3 broad lines of ‘cat’s claw’ streaks dominating the body plumage, a white background to the heavily streaked rump- on some the white extending right up into the mantle.
Bet there’s one or two of these somewhere in mainland Britain already. With records in Norfolk and Hampshire last winter, who will be looking?
Greenland Redpolls. Unst, Shetland. October 2010