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.