16
Dec
12

Suffolk Shingle Snowball.

A trip into Suffolk was on the cards the other day. The second mainland record of Hornemann’s Arctic Redpoll was the reason. Named (by Carl Peter Holbol – a keen explorer of Greenland) after Jan Wilken Hornemann a Danish Botanist, this high Arctic species is mostly an occassional  visitor to Shetland and the northern Isles but it was Suffolk that was blessed this time.

There being no trees in its usual northerly haunts, the Hornemann’s habitually inhabits the ground and indeed this individual at Aldeburgh was sifting for seeds among the sparse vegetation on the beach. It was eating almost constantly, it must do to surive. The gut of this particular sub species of Redpoll is designed to take in vast quantities of seed during the short winter day which is then digested through the long winter night.

Adapted to the Arctic in every way evolution has given it snow camouflage – it was a pleasure to see this proper little Snowball.

Hornemann's Arctic Redpoll

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