Date: 11/19/20 2:24 pm From: Chris Rimmer <crimmer...> Subject: [VTBIRD] Hoary Redpoll in Norwich
I had the good fortune this morning at Pompy Farms Oxbow in Norwich (an eBird hotspot) to actually get my eyes on a redpoll that I (and now others) are convinced is a Hoary. There has been a flock of 20-40 birds there daily--numbers seems to vary from one day to the next--feeding on the heads of tall weeds in the uncut strip in the northernmost field. They are flighty and restless, and it's challenging to get prolonged looks at any individual bird. This morning I was lucky to have good light and a few minutes where the flock was more or less sedentary. Scanning the birds, I was struck by one individual that was distinctly more pale than the others, with a very "frosted" appearance above. I had good looks at it through binoculars, enabling me to note extensive white on the wings (especially tips of greater coverts and secondaries), and on its mantle and back. The flanks and sides were minimally streaked, the rump whitish and unstreaked. Bill size was challenging to determine, but I did sense that its bill was smaller and stubbier than the Commons around it (apparently Hoary bills average only 10% smaller than those of Commons). I was also struck by the fact that the bird seemed larger overall than the other redpolls nearby.