Saturday, 3 February 2018

Hawfinch.



I've recently become avianly excited.

I'm not a bird-watcher in the classic 'anorak' sense, but we do have bird feeders hanging from the Quince tree outside our kitchen, and we do like to watch the birds as they join us for lunch.

Generally we see Tits, Sparrows, Robins, a few different Finches, Blackbirds, Thrushes, and other common garden birds, but recently we've had a visitor that I've never seen before; a HAWFINCH.

My own photo (above) isn't too good, so I've borrowed a clearer one from Mr Google (below). This was the third time we've seen them in the garden. Yesterday there were two males together feeding on last year's Greengage stones. Stunningly beautiful birds.


They are much bigger than most Finches; somewhere in between the size of a Blackbird and a large Sparrow. They have very pronounced, serious looking, beaks, which are used for getting into fruit stones. 

The ones in the garden were slightly differently coloured; their heads were a bit redder, and their breasts slightly greener. I believe this is seasonal.

Why they've suddenly turned up here, I have no idea; but I'm very pleased they have. I can't tell you how exciting it is to see them. They seem quite unperturbed by humans too.

Another bird ticked-off in my I-Spy book of Birds. I do hope they stay around.




52 comments:

  1. Such a beautiful bird. I hope they stay for awhile.

    cheers, parsnip

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    Replies
    1. Only time will tell. I hope they'll breed here, so maybe they will.

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  2. A colourful bird. How wonderful to see it so close

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    1. It's so unusual to see a small bird that one doesn't recognise; it took us quite a while to discover what it was.

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  3. What beautiful colours. How lucky you are. I sometimes, but rarely, have a red breast robin visit my balcony. I can't feed it be cause it attracts pigeons.
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. My father used to feed Robins from his hand. He would break-up Peanuts into small pieces, and just hold out his hand.

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  4. Here, too, new spcies of birds that were not before, such as green parrot and an Indian songbird that takes over everything else.I can here them singing outside now.

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    1. There are huge flocks of 'wild' green Parrots in the UK. Someone must have released them, and they've bred like crazy.

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  5. Lovely looking bird - I hadn't heard of it before.

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    1. Nor me. I shall be looking-out for it from now on.

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  6. Winterwatch (the BBC look at the natural world over a week or more of live programming) looked at the Hawfinch this week. Our largest finch apparently and what a terrific beak and wonderful cinnamon-coloured plumage. Good that you have one visiting.

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    1. A great addition to the garden. Lovely bird.

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    2. and interesting on the programme that this year's Hawfinch sightings are further South across the British Isles than a year ago...perhaps that is why you have seen one

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  7. Cro, there is a Southerly invasion of hawfinch this year... normally they stay in the woodland. The local LPO to us have been asking for observations. They certainly do breed down your was, but prefer the peace and quiet of dense woodland. They are, for a very large finch with a bill that exerts 50kilos of pressure, extremely quiet... and stay high in the canopy!!
    Very rarely seen... even by experienced birdwatchers....hence the excitement this year as they seem to be very out in the open.... unfortunately, not here.... yet!!

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    1. Plenty of dense woodland all around us; it sounds like my sighting is not uncommon.

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    2. No, your sighting is very uncommon.... they are shy, treetop birds.... that’s whats strange about this winter... they are coming more frequently to feed stations like yours.

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  8. There's been what's called an 'irruption' of them this winter, lots in the uk too. They like the seeds of Hornbeam and also Yew trees, so currently a lot are being seen around churchyards here. Enjoy them while you can, they're very scarce otherwise.

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    1. I wonder where they've come from? Maybe next year they'll disappear again. It'll be interesting to see.

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  9. Having just moved to Hythe, that is what I miss the most, garden birds. We obviously get gulls, and crows seem to enjoy coastal living. I have seen one pied wagtail and one starling. I also miss trees, however sitting up in bed writing this I am looking out at a lazy sea. Some might call me lazy still in bed drinking tea at this hour of the day?

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    1. In Brighton we have Seagulls, Starlings, Pigeons, and a few Cormorants. Not that I've seen them for a very long time.

      Lady Magnon is also a member of the 'Gracious Morning Club'; nothing to be ashamed of.

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  10. I’m not surprised they usually stay hidden, given the Southern European propensity to trap and eat any small bird that moves.

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    1. That tradition has mostly stopped these days; thank goodness. Now they have to be members of a 'hunting club', and their rules are quite strict.

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  11. I would be excited too. I have always had an interest in birds but, whilst I've had some notable sightings, I've never seen a Hawfinch.

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    1. It was good to see something new in the garden. We very occasionally see a Hoopoe too, which is wonderful.

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  12. We got loads in Norfolk due to storm winds that pushed them off course one day on the way to the Med from up north. I expect chloe's MIL has a garden full and chloe has them on her balcony.

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    1. Chloe probably designed them, and holds the rights to any mention of them!

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    2. Whatever, she will certainly have been there and done that before you or me.

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  13. He's a pretty guy. I don't think we will see many birds in the garden this year, Rick will see them all off.

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    1. Having Bok around doesn't seem to worry the birds here; in fact I think he's quite a nature lover.

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  14. He looks like a bit of a bruiser

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    1. That beak would have your finger off!

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  15. A beautiful bird .... it sounds as if you get the same birds as we do. My husband goes off bird watching { I'm presuming it's the feathered variety ?!!!!! } but, he is more interested in the walking to keep fit. XXXX

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    1. I suspect we have less birds that most would back in the UK, probably because of all those small birds that they used to eat.

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  16. I googled ‘illegal killing of songbirds’ and this is the first article that came up.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/aug/26/conservationists-appalled-at-illegal-killing-of-25m-birds-a-year-in-the-mediterranean
    Heartbtreaking, isn’t it.

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    1. Here in France I expect that the shot bird numbers includes Palombes (Wood Pigeons) that are shot in huge numbers. They are considered a 'game bird', as in many countries. I don't think that pukka hunters shoot small song birds any more. Of course what they do in Egypt etc is anyone's guess.

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    2. Indeed. Abroad is unutterably bloody, and foreigners are fiends...

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  17. That's a beautiful bird and it must have been nice to see it in your yard. Right now, we have Cardinals in the snow and I always love seeing them.

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    1. He didn't show-up today, but I'm sure he'll be back.

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  18. Beautiful bird! No such thing, here. Probably our most colourful are cardinals, goldfinches, and every once in a while indigo bunting. Your post made me think I should go fill the bird feeder! -Jenn

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    1. We're about to have some quite cold weather so bird feeders will need to be kept filled; and we mustn't forget water for them too.

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  19. Looks like it could give you a nasty peck.

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  20. I've seen lots of birds over the years but never a Hawfinch or a bullfinch. Really is a beautiful bird, lucky you.
    Briony
    x

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    1. We had plenty of Bullfinches in West Chiltington; they used to eat all the young buds from the fruit trees. Less fruit trees in central Brighton.

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  21. Lovely bird. Best looking bird with feathers I've seen here so far this year a Green Woodpecker.

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    1. We have all three Woodpeckers here. Lovely birds, and lovely sounds.

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  22. It's a very attractive bird. The beak does look very powerful.

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    1. It could probably open a can of XXXX.

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