Common RedpollDec. 9, 2007

  A few days ago, early in the morning when it was still rather dark, I noticed what appeared to be a new finch at the thistle feeder.

The bird mostly kept its back to me, but I caught a glimpse of red on its forehead. I had heard that due to a poor seed condition in Canada that otherwise arctic birds were flying farther south. Among such birds was the common redpoll.

After I examined the photos against Peterson's field guide, sure enough. I had seen my first common redpoll.

The back view may not be that flattering, but it did give me my first glimpse of its red forehead.

Common redpoll
  I kept hoping that the feeder would spin ever so slightly.
Common redpoll
  Or the redpoll would change its position for a clearer view.
Common redpoll
  Because of the dark and shooting at a slow speed, most of the photos didn't come out. Finally, however, I got what I consider to be a pleasing photo.
Common redpoll
  I hope to see more common redpolls this year, which are anything but common in Pennsylvania (or states farther south).

Photo note: The photos were taken on December 6, 2007, at Cooper's Pond, in State College, with the Pentax *ist D and the SMC-A* 300mm lens.

My Pennsylvania bird list

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