Saturday, January 23, 2016

The King of Finches

Out again on the patch today. Added Coal Tit to the patch list. Checked through the finch flock again with similar result to the last trip: 2 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Bullfinch, then low tens of Goldfinch, Linnet and Chaffinch. Slightly further over there were 3 Reed Buntings and low tens of Yellowhammers.

Finches are amongst the most glorious of birds. Brambling provide a variety of spectacular plumages, and Hawfinches are favourites of many birders although that is partly down to their scarcity. But for me the King of Finches is the Bullfinch. On a cold winter day a plump male is a truly spectacular sight; the colours are outrageously vivid - an ostentatious challenge to the notion that birds should be difficult to spot for their own safety.

At this point I should show a photo such as this one.  But I had my scope and contraption to day, so you get the picture below instead.

The Lesser Redpolls showed well, with one male beginning to come into summer plumage. Again there are better photos out there, but this is from the patch so has a particular relevance.

Otherwise a surprisingly full list; Kingfisher, Nuthatch, c50 Redwings - a definite increase - and c20 Fieldfare, 7 Cormorants, Heron, Goldcrest

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