Saturday, 15 March 2008

Needle in a Haystack

I may have mentioned that I've been disappointed that so far this year no Brambling has used the feeding station in the garden.

At Bockhill this lunch time I was looking at the flock of Chaffinches feeding on the field behind the monument, hoping to find something else feeding with them.

Although Chaffinches aren't particularly nervous neither are they very confiding when feeding in the open in a flock. Each time I tried to get that little bit closer the nearest one would fly up to the hedge and then in a kind of "Mexican wave" all the others would follow. When this happened I was aware that amongst the white wing bars and white tail feathers there was one bird with a white back. There were approximately 90 birds in this very mobile flock and the field they were feeding in wasn't particularly easy to watch as it gently curved over and they disappeared over the brow.
Eventually I found the Brambling feeding in the flock, but with all the Chaffinches zealously warning it if I tried to approach too close all photos were from a distance.

This is the best I managed but if you enlarge the first picture of the flock (double click on it) see if you can find it, it's like looking for a needle in a haystack, but I promise it is there.

There are certain key happenings in a little boys life and Sam reached one of them on Thursday and Pam recorded it. The first paddle in new wellies in a nice puddle is a pivotal moment, full of exploration and joy.

1 comment:

Kingsdowner said...

Well spotted!
A report from SBBO reads a steady procession of Chaffinches throughout the day amounted to over 250 birds, most of which were adult males.

I noticed this disproportion among the birds in Kingsdown, and was surprised by it.

Any views?