While we were swanning around Hoover, Rick Asamoto and Shaun Eggleston found a Common Redpoll at the Caesar Creek Visitors Center, which I regard more or less as my home turf.  I went out there this morning to check it out and found it almost immediately (with the help of a nice couple who were already there.)

The bird was coming to the feeder out back.  The people who were there before me had seen it on the feeder, but every time I saw it it was in the company of a flock of goldfinches foraging in the detritus on the ground under the feeder.  The usual drill was that the birds would gather in the trees above the feeder, then descend to the ground and feed for five to ten minutes.  Then the whole flock would suddenly fly away.  In about fifteen minutes the whole process would start again.  I sat through about four cycles of this.

The redpoll was noticeably larger than the goldfinches.  The most obvious field mark was the red cap that gives the species its vernacular name.  The black face, big white wingbar, pinkish-red wash on the breast, and striped flanks completed the identification.
I took up a position on one of the benches outside.  The birds quickly became desensitized to my presence and I was able to shoot a bunch of pictures, the best of which occur below.  For an interactive map of the Caesar Creek area, see the maps page on the header above.
Common Redpoll with American Goldfinches for size comparison.

Common Redpoll with American Goldfinches for size comparison.

Detail showing red poll

Detail showing red poll

Detail showing pinky wash, flank stripes, and wing bar

Detail showing pinky wash, flank stripes, and wing bar

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