04 February 2009

Common Redpolls

There was some resource contention on the finch feeder today.
This was due to the arrival of a flock of Common Redpolls (there's a shot of undertail coverts that, pace Mr. Sibley, is definitive on the "common or hoary?" identification question, but it has not been provided on the grounds that I devoutly hope bird butts aren't what anyone is reading Dubious Prospects for, the colour scheme is pretty clearly Common in any case, and getting a whole flock of Hoary in my back yard would not so much strain credulity as centrifuge it, just on biogeographic grounds); I counted six female-or-juvenile and one male in the flock.

They're not shy about wanting their turn at the feeder:
The one clear male example seem to spend most of his time scavenging on the snow.
The apocalyptic bokeh is due to the red brick wall back there somewhere and a mirror lens; I think it's rather a neat effect. I'd be prouder of successfully hand holding 800mm if more of them had turned out like this. (I am starting to feel I'd about kill for a 500/f4 mirror lens with autofocus and the Pentax coatings; the utility of something that long and light for birds is hard to properly express).
The redpolls checked out the regular feeder and the edges of the railing, but were not generally much impressed.
There are more, but I think I shall save them for another time, and you may all hope I get distracted by something interesting before then, and post that instead.

Obvious and intense difference between the Pentax 55-300 and the Rokinon 800mm rendition notwithstanding, I'm quite pleased with this bunch of photos. And pleased with myself for seeing the birds on the feeder and going "redpolls!", too.

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