Saturday 28 November 2015

Brambling alert!

Over the last month or so I have been getting a regular trickle of brambling over the site where I watch for migrating birds (see previous blogs for more info!). There are many more than last year which suggests their European wintering sites have not produced sufficient food this year.

They have been passing by in flocks of chaffinch, so I've been expecting to find chaffinch with the odd brambling back at my flat where I am surrounded by both finch's preferred winter food source - beech trees and their seeds beechmast.

However I have not been seeing any chaffinch, let alone a brambling, which means the beech trees here and after a subsequent check of other beech trees in the area, they have not produced much fruit this year.

This week I have been surveying farms and was hoping to find the elusive finches feeding on the farmland. Bingo! I've seen well over 100 brambling and several hundred chaffinch feeding in wildbird covers planted for them. But as the winter progresses the chances are these birds will head to gardens, especially in February, March and April - so keep your eyes peeled!

Here are a couple of pictures to help you - the first shows the orange chest and the white belly, the second shows the bright white rump! (NA)

Brambling from the front...
...and from the back.

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