Help with identification


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Help with identification

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Does anyone know from the photo taken on a mobile phone what this scarlet bird is with black wings seen in North Essex in my garden.
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  • Hi Fiona

    I can't see the bird very clearly but with that sort of colour I think it can only be a male Bullfinch.

    Did it look like this?

    Nice bird to get in the garden

  • Was just looking for a photo of a Great Spotted Woodpecker to see if they have that much red on them.

  • Thank you for your suggestions, I was trying to take a picture when it flew off and only just caught it.  It was scarlet red and only saw the black wings when it flew off.  The only bird I can find which would look similar is the scarlet Tanager which I believe are not found in the UK.  

  • Yes, it could be Alan. GSW's do have quite a lot of red in the vent area. I couldn't sort out which way up the bird is from the photo

  • What size was it Fiona?

    Another possibility is it's an escapee from a collection.

  • I've just googled Great Spotted Woodpeckers in flight and I think you would have seen more white than red.

  • I would have thought the bird was the size of a woodpecker but I have never seen one with this colouring.  Whilst sitting in the tree all I saw was red.  In the photo the bird is flying off to the right.  It has a light coloured beak, black wings and a black tail.  The head and body are all scarlet red.  Wasn't sure if it could have escaped from somewhere and not natural to this area.  Only a thought.  

  • Could be an escape or one blown off course by strong winds, as has happened to Scarlet Tanagers before, but rarely!   Have just  read on google!

  • Similarly poor picture of Bullfinch (my best :( )

    GSW - nowhere near enough red. (I think this is a female, male would have another red patch, but only a patch, on back of head.