Seen as this winter there seems to be a lot of new/old ID features of Redpoll being put into various different articles on how to tell the various lessers/mealies/arctics apart, I thought I would also jump on this band wagon...
But seen as I'm not a Redpoll expert in anyway at all thought I would just put links to all the articles on here just in case you haven't seen them all before.
Why would I do this? Well I suppose coming from inland birding its kinda hard to get excited at the thought of trying to find a Northern Harrier when a Hen Harrier that stuck would cause a twitch in Worcs! But Redpolls are a group of birds where the prospect, for an inland birder, of finding something a bit different and maybe even a BB are greatly increased! Also apparently York Uni gets a flock over the winter and they have held Mealies in recent years and apparently an Arctic not too many years ago, so there's always potential, although I've only had a single fly over so far!
Very in depth guide covering most species/subspecies to be found in the UK good comparisons between types and ages. http://www.worcesterbirding.co.uk/redpolls_58.html
Martin Garners Article, not as much detail but good encouragement for getting out there and finding your own birds! http://www.birdguides.com/webzine/article.asp?a=2405
Just to show that not all Redpolls are Identifiiable and some have to be left as a best guess http://birdingfrontiers.com/2010/11/30/intermediate-arctic-redpoll/
Good article focusing on Lessers and Mealies http://www.uk400clubonline.co.uk/File-Store/The-Separation-Of-Lesser-&-Mealy-Redpolls.pdf
Good tips on splitting the Arctics. Anyone know if the BOU/BOURC/BBRC are considering a split of exilipes and hornemanni? http://www.uk400clubonline.co.uk/File-Store/Arctic-Redpoll-ID-revisited.pdf
Also wise words to remember from one of the Crows Jonathan Lethbridge ''that not everything can be identified'' but give it a try!
If you haven't seen the crowcouncil blog yet check it out here http://thecrowcouncil.co.uk/blog/