Monday, 22 November 2010

Local Mealies

Yesterday afternoon I wandered onto Headley Heath in the company of my wife, younger daughter Jessica and Amber the cocker spaniel. And what a scene of cosy domesticity we all made, man and wife wandering along arm in arm, daughter and dog at our side until - a flock of 150 Redpolls flew in, buzzing and trilling above our heads. Of course I had taken my binoculars with me, and of course I scanned through the finches. They landed in a close Silver Birch and almost immediately two of them shone out from the others as being slightly larger and paler birds. They looked very good for Mealy, but before I could get any more on them they all burst into the air and dispersed. Hmmm...

I alerted Johnny Allan who is attempting to break his own Surrey year listing record and still needed Common (Mealy) Redpoll for 2010. Although I couldn't claim 100% Mealy, I had seen enough to suggest that his time could be well spent combing the heath for the Redpoll flock.

And so, together with a gang of Beddington birders, he returned this morning and they duly located up to 400 Lesser Redpolls, of which a minimum of three were nailed down as definite Mealies. It's a good local bird. The race is now on to find an even rarer Arctic...


  1. What with all of the Waxwings, Mealies and Big Bullies now is a good time to find that Arctic...400 Lessers will make just the noise to pull one in...

  2. I fancy your chances more than mine Stewart. By the way, I've not had the fortune to see a northern Bullfinch.