Coues’s Arctic Redpoll

Are they coming?

A small  arrival of more Twite -sized Mealy Redpolls alerted ‘Fetlar’ Thomason to arrivals not from the NW but from the NE. So when a similar sized bird with white rump was located in Baltasound school plantaion – it shouted ‘exilipes’– or Coue’s Arctic Redpoll.

Nowadays you have to be careful about putting your head above a parapet on redpoll identification. It’s a  scary zone to enter- with plenty of rhetoric, pale/ Arctic or otherwise Redpolls often generate more heat than light.

Its looking good for Mealies so far this week which might just herald an Arctic (exilipes) Redpoll invasion – about time. I use ‘Stoddart’s Law’ which states that for every 10 Mealy Redpolls there is at least the possibility of an Arctic – though it can be as few as 3 Mealies. I have found a bird widely ticked as a Coues’s Arctic Redpoll, using this law- so I know it works (though I never submitted the record – shock, horror!)

Are the Arctic Rolls coming?

Make for a great winter if they did!

Coues’s Arctic Redpoll (or something that looks very much like one!) Baltasound, Unst. October 2010. Brydon Thomason

Coues’s Arctic Redpoll (or something that looks very much like one!) Baltasound, Unst. October 2010. Brydon Thomason

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About Martin Garner

I am a Free Spirit
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2 Responses to Coues’s Arctic Redpoll

  1. Calum Scott says:

    Good numbers of Meally Redpolls being reported now in Lothian in several different places, unfortunatly some of the roads leading to the top Redpoll sites in this area are still treacherous so flocks are still waiting to be discovered!

  2. Martin Garner says:

    Hi Calum

    I was out to this morning on Hatfield Moors (same place as the Lesser Scaup). It’s hard to estimate numbers but with maybe 50-70 Mealy Redpoll in area, 150-200 plus Lesser and err?? maybe 3 or more?? Coues’s Arctic in area- there must be some in Lothian- day’s hike and camp out if road inaccessible??!

    Martin

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