Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Sizergh Hawfinches

Early one morning last week I stopped for a brief stay at Sizergh Castle on the southern edge of Cumbria. The car park at this picturesque site has become renowned for hosting good numbers of that rare beast of a finch; the Hawfinch. These monsters of the bird world are understandably a major draw for birdwatchers. They regularly feed in the trees and on the ground in the play area and, despite their reputation for being shy, can be seen quite well with a bit of patience.(the finches that is, not the birdwatchers!)
Unfortunately on my visit the light was very poor for photography, and I kept my distance so as not to disturb the birds as they fed on some seed that I had scattered on the ground. There was a good sized flock of common birds making the most of an easy feed; the flock was mostly composed of the Hawfinch's smaller relative the Chaffinch along with Blue, Great and Coal Tits and some stunning Bullfinches. Two different pairs of Hawfinch were seen but none were photographable until a female dropped on to the leaf litter to have a feed. The photographs are definitely "record" shots, but what stunning birds!


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