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Monday, 22 December 2008


An array of HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL images from the Northern Isles in September-October 2008
From top to bottom - at Norwick, Unst (Shetland), in late September (Chris Bell), at Culivoe on Yell in September (Dougie Preston, plates 2-3), the Unst bird again (Bob Duckhouse), a bird on Fair Isle in October (plates 5-6; Mark Breaks) and a first-winter on North Uist in October (Steve Duffield)
HORNEMANN'S ARCTIC REDPOLL is a large and very white redpoll with a short but strong bill. It is strikingly bull-necked in appearance with heavy feathering on the nape and hindneck and noticeably feathered tarsi. It is predominantly white, with the breast and flanks only lightly streaked (although some first-winters are quite noticeably streaked) and has a striking, unstreaked white rump and gleaming white and unstreaked undertail-coverts. More often than not there is a distinct buffish wash to the head and face, with white feathers around the bill.