Arctic Redpolls arrive in Durham

A nature reserve in Durham is celebrating after an Arctic Redpoll is spotted.

The rare visitor to the UK was found at the Rainton Meadows nature reserve, near Houghton-le-Spring.

The reserve is home to the Durham Wildlife Trust. Mark Richardson, Trust Reserves Manager, said: “This winter at Rainton Meadows has proven to be a bird spotters dream”.

Coues' Arctic Redpoll - Pic Ray Scott

Coues' Arctic Redpoll - Pic Ray Scott

Redpoll species eat tiny seeds, as well as a ride range of other plant and insect items, especially those produced by willow, birch, and alder trees, a food source that are in abundance in Rainton Meadow’s young woodlands.

This is not the first rare sighting at the reserve. Two bitterns were also spotted recently sheltering from the harsh winter weather.

The arctic redpoll is usually found in countries such as Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Russia. However, it is occasionally recorded as a winter visitor to the Durham region.

The first individual at Rainton Meadows was first seen amongst a much larger flock of mealy and lesser redpolls over the Christmas period since which four have been seen.

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