Quite a head scratcher of a bird today. I caught sight of a couple of Redpoll at Funzie and immediately noticed that one of them wasn’t a typical Mealy (Common) type.
They were quite mobile and it took a while to pin them down. Could it be an Arctic (Coues’) Redpoll? I watched for some time and they finally came close enough for some pics.
This is the putative Coues’
Another shot of the same bird
After much deliberation and close scrutiny of the pics, plus some discussion with a couple of Shetland birders, who are way more experienced with these species than me, we decided it was “just” a particularly bright Mealy.
Still, a nice bird and always good to find something that provokes discussion, even if the conclusion isn’t the rarity you first hoped it would be!