Tuesday 14 February 2023

Wandering Finches

Redpolls are a sporadic visitor to our little garden but in the last few weeks, they have become a regular fixture. Good numbers of Goldfinches and Greenfinches seem to have attracted four birds back in late January, and these individuals have been present daily since then. On a couple of dates, these birds have attracted in other small groups, with max counts of 14 at the beginning of the month, with ten a couple of days later. These additional birds moved on quickly, leaving the regular four to continue their stay in the garden. Redpolls have been reported elsewhere locally in good numbers but it is unclear why. The end of winter usually signals a shortage of food out in the countryside, so this could explain why the influx to birdfeeders. All birds have been Lesser Redpolls, which seem to have been relumped with Common/Mealy Redpolls in recent months. Whatever their taxonomic status, it is a joy to have these little stripy dudes in the garden.

Despite being smaller than the other finches, they are pretty feisty and are capable of defending their feeder perch against all comers, except the local House Sparrows.

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