The Lesser Redpoll is a small brown, streaked finch with a red forehead and black bib. In Pembrokeshire it is found mostly in conifer plantations but also in parkland and orchards. Nests are placed in trees, variously against the trunk or further out on hanging branches.
The county breeding population was estimated to be about 100 pairs at the close of the 1984-88 survey. This was the equivalent of just over three per occupied tetrad. The survey of 2003-07 detected a 37% spread in distribution. Using the previous average density, it seems likely that the population was of the order of 130 – 140 pairs at the end of 2007. Recent extensive felling of conifer plantations is likely to have a detrimental effect on this species, which is already red-listed under Birds of Conservation Concern 3 (Eaton et al., 2009), having declined nationally over the last 25 years.
Graham Rees. Pembrokeshire County Bird Recorder 1981-2007
Mathew (1894) stated that the Redpoll was resident in small numbers and was a common winter visitor, while Lockley et al. (1949)recorded the Redpoll as a scarce resident in the east of the county, in semi-wooded and hilly country. The advent of conifer plantations has helped it to spread. It was first found breeding in conifers at Rosebush in 1969. Other plantations have since been colonised, though a few birds breed in other habitats, including parkland. From personal experience of most of the known breeding sites, an estimated 100 pairs were nesting in Pembrokeshire at the end of the Breeding Birds Survey of 1984-1988.
Small numbers pass through coastal Pembrokeshire between 15 April and 10 June. Two stayed at Skokholm through June and July in 1981, and again from July to mid-November. One ringed at Skokholm in May 1962 was recovered in County Wicklow, Ireland, in January 1963.
Redpolls are normally sparse in Pembrokeshire during the winter, sometimes being found in association with Siskins; however, they were unusually widespread in the winter of 1990/91, with flocks of up to 50 recorded as late as 31 March.
Scarce resident in eastern half of county, in semi-wooded and hilly country, but rarely recorded from treeless districts, though occasionally seen in winter Skokholm (R.M.L.). One seen at St Davids, 8 August 1918 by Sir A Raikes (Bertram Lloyd).
Linota rufescens – A resident in small numbers, and a common winter visitor.
A pair were seen, evidently nesting, by the late Mr. Stokes, of Cuffem, in the spring of 1887, at Ferny Glen, near Roch, in a larch tree. Small flocks regularly appear in the autumn, and one of about a dozen birds generally visited our gardens every winter, remaining with us until the spring had well advanced. Mr. Dix states: “I have seen one flock of about twenty this winter, on 3rd January; they were feeding on some alders near Cardigan.”
Mr. Tracy considered this small species “rare,” adding, “a few frequent the mountainous part of the county.” Mr. Jefferys, of Tenby, has informed us that among some eggs sent to him from Boncath to be named, was one marked: “Found here in May, nest like Goldfinch,” which proved to be an egg of the Lesser Redpoll.
Carduelis cabaret – LLINOS BENGOCH LEIAF – Breeding resident and passage migrant 1984-88 Breeding confirmed 8 Breeding probable 16 Breeding possible 6 No of tetrads occupied 30 (of 478) Percentage of tetrads 6.3% Mathew (1894) stated that the Redpoll was resident in small numbers and was a common winter visitor, while Lockley et al. (1949) recorded the […]
Carduelis cabaret – LLINOS BENGOCH LEIAF – Breeding resident and passage migrant The BTO winter atlas showed that few Lesser Redpolls were present in Pembrokeshire 10km squares during the winters of 1981-82, 1982-82 and 1983-84. The plotted colour represents 1-10 birds seen in a day. More about the Lesser Redpoll in Pembrokeshire