A morning at the Longshaw feeders…

Yesterday I had a trip to the Longshaw Estate via Padley Gorge, to stake out the feeders for a bit for the common redpolls that have been seen there. Confusingly, common redpolls really aren’t that common at all in Britain, and so to avoid confusion I’ll use their alternative name of mealy redpoll for the rest of this report!

The feeders housed the usual stuff, including siskins (Longshaw’s a reliable place to see them in good numbers all year round), greenfinch, goldfinch, chaffinch, nuthatch, and coal, blue and great tits. A couple of treecreepers were also slinking around the tree trunks. Visiting the feeders were a good few lesser redpoll, but squinting through them (between passing cafe patrons and ramblers sending them flittering away to safety) failed to produce the frosty plumage of the mealies. This one below did get me wondering due to its rather pale white wing bars, and its rather robust appearance compared to many of the lessers around, but on reflection is way too brown to be a mealy.

Lesser Redpoll

But my patience was rewarded with one good bird, with a single brambling making an appearance with the chaffinches, allowing one hasty (and terrible) photo before being scared off by the aforementioned cafe patrons (how dare people want to use footpaths while I’m scanning through finches, eh?!)…

Brambling (record shot)

…and of course the lesser redpolls and siskins posed for some nice photos, with a shaft of bright sunlight even making an appearance at one point.

Lesser Redpoll

Lesser Redpoll and Siskin


Lesser Redpoll

Elsewhere on the estate 3 ravens cronked overhead, providing a nice year tick, and a dipper was perched on a fence by the stream on the footpath leading from the B6521. Padley Gorge was its usual quiet self for this time of year (very different to the redstart/flycatcher/warbler-filled joy it becomes in Spring) but still turned up a singing goldcrest and a sparrowhawk.

And the mealies? Well apparently they were showing well in the car park while I was staking out the feeders all morning. Typical, eh?! Maybe next time…


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My name is Pete

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