Monday, 14 May 2018

Red Caps in Shetland

Up at Sumburgh Head recently we had visiting Mealy Redpoll, Lesser Redpoll (M&F) joining resident Twite

About 12 Twite arrived before the Redpoll would come down to feed. The male Redpoll was very red in colour

                               Black chin and white wing bar showing well on the male Lesser Redpoll

Mealy Redpoll are generally Greyer and bigger than Lesser and have a much whiter rump, a cleaner looking bird.

Lesser Redpoll (Female) have a much warmer look, and used to be a common breeding bird until the early 1980's when changes in farming practice and a reduction in birch trees affected its distribution.

                                                                         It is heavily streaked on the mantle

                                                               A ringed bird occasionally turned up, showing short dark legs

Redpolls prefer to feed on the ground

Twite are common in Shetland and seen all year round gathering into large flocks in winter, even now they flock together.

Twite became very aggressive to the Redpoll, in particular a light coloured Twite.

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