"as soon as I reached the forest I was surrounded by birds. A huge flock of about 350 Common Redpolls was around and with them were 3 Pine Grosbeaks and 7 Hawfinches."
Oh, how I wish they were my words, that home from an exciting day in the field after making an incredible discovery in some far flung frozen corner of Northumberland I was here to reveal the magnificence of my Grosbeak -finding skills.
Sadly with Christmas within touching distance and snow everywhere (again) I've been housebound whilst the wife shopped. So the quote above is from a blog post by Andreas Buckheim about his birding day in Bogd Kan Uul which for all those south of Watford is a little East of Northumberland.
I can dream..
Anyway on a slightly more serious note if you do click the link take a good hard squint at the first male Common Redpoll, whilst out there it can't really be anything else, had I seen that bird yesterday it would not have been a Common Redpoll - buff wingbar, brown tones in the ear coverts lack of any white in the super - it's a classic example of why some of them are just confusing or why you simply can't do some of them from a single image, though the next two make up for it as do the Grosbeak pics.