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!