Saw an unusual little bird today, any thoughts?

Hello all,

I’m new to the forum primarily as I’m stumped by this one...

I spotted this little guy having a puddle bath today while driving up a farm track in Lancashire. Was pleased to get a picture of it before it vanished. 

In the sunshine it looked very pale cream in color with pale grey wing tips and tail. Brown head markings as well (to add confusion).

First thoughts were juvenile gold finch, but I have seen quite a few of late and this doesn’t quite tally.

Juvenile yellow hammer? Looking at ID pictures it doesn’t quite match either.


Well, it’s always exciting spotting new birds, just when you think you know them all. 

See what you think, meanwhile I’ll start thinking of a name for the new species I have discovered! 

  • Welcome to the community Rick ... Looks like a juvenile Goldfinch to me after checking through many images on google but am no expert so wait for others opinions!


     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • Hi Wendy,

    Thanks for taking time to have a look too. I realise you must get a lot of ‘what’s this one?’ Posts rolling through the forum!

    I Think you’re probably right, it just seems/seemed so different.

    I’ve been watching juvenile goldfinches on the feeder and they look very close to adult colour and markings (save the red head). Especially noticeable is the black tail and wing tips with white checks.

    This one was odd, it stood out like a sore thumb on the track, I thought a cockatiel had escaped initially.

    So although I accept it’s almost certainly a Baby goldfinch, I will reserve the name ‘Lancashire cream hammer’ just in case they have to rewrite the books!
  • Not sure it's a native species.