Along with the influx of Hawfinches during the autumn the other notable avian phenomenen was the number of Redpolls recorded in western France. They really are quite scarce here generally and I’ve only come across them once in 10 years but this winter many sites held small groups of birds of two subspecies: Lesser (cabaret) and Common (Mealy) Redpoll. The lakes in the north of the departement were a favoured spot and so in mid-December I met up with some fellow birders at Etang de Gruellau near Treffieux where we had some difficulty in initially tracking down the birds and then getting reasonable views of them as the fed in the alder and birch trees. Some rather poor photos below along with a charming Red squirrel which was nearby.

Redpolls, lower photo of presumed Common (Mealy) Redpoll (Acanthis flammea flammea)