April 17, 2010:
An influx of Redpolls possibly with some Mealies amongst them was reported from the Langden Intake area near Dunsop Bridge yesterday. From one of the previous sightings it could be inferred that at least a quarter of those present were Mealies and that some of the others were atypical Lessers.
This morning in bright sunshine several people were watching them. The birds were usually high up in the tall conifers close to the Trough road but were distinctly elusive and seen only intermittently and then briefly. They were feeding on the abundant cones and acrobatically suspended themselves below them. Very rarely one would fly down and drink in the stream.
Observed from below, it was never easy to get more than a brief view as they worked tirelessly through, and were obscured by, the branches, whilst to photograph them with a real chance of success was almost impossible.
There were certainly one or two distinctly pale-plumaged birds preset which might be attributable to Mealies. Goldfinches, Chaffinches, and Blue Tits also moved amongst them and both a Grey Wagtail and a Dipper was seen by the stream.
The Langden valley mouth. The Redpolls' conifers can be clearly seen.