Saturday, 2 January 2010

A Brandling in the garden.

Bramblings are not frequent visitors to the garden, but they have appeared in small numbers in most springs in the 10 years we've been here. Although they are regular on "vis-mig" sessions in the autumn they seem reluctant to pay more than fleeting visits to the garden at this season, and this year I had no records at all.

As I hadn't heard of many around in Kent this winter I was quite surprised to look out of the window and see this winter plumaged male sharing a feeder with a Greenfinch.

You may be wondering why it is perched on a 3" screw, not a conventional fitting on a feeder! Well everything one of those alien Squirrels brings down a feeder it seems to manage to break the perches, and this is the most successful quick repair I've found so far. I took these through the window, not wishing to disturb the bird, but it quickly disappeared and I though it had gone.

I reappeared a couple of hours later, and I did get a couple of clear views through the open window. Unfortunately it didn't seem to appreciate it's space being invaded by this approaching Chaffinch and exited left to the shrubbery.

I should have kept this one for the quiz, a flying Brambling, but as it didn't show the rump as it went, I though it would be a bit unfair.
Why the title Brandling? It seems that several creatures, young Salmon and young Trout for instance were call Brandlings because of their branded or brindled markings. In fact the names Bramling and Bramlin are recorded as colloquial forms of the fish names. Given the striking brindled plumage of our bird it is evident that it's name is a misnomer derived from an incorrect normalisation. Ray in 1678 put the name "Montifringilla major, the greater Brandling" over a drawing of the bird at the back of his book.

The garden list got to 23 for the year, with the addition of:Sparrowhawk, Song Thrush, Brambling, Wren (I missed it yesterday) and Black-headed Gull.


Gavin Haig said...

From the post title I thought you were going to be writing about worms, which are what brandlings have always been to me! Live and learn...

Tony Morris said...

Yup, Tiger Worm, anothr one with a "brand"

Warren Baker said...

Lets hope some Bamblings move inland, not seen any this winter.

JRandSue said...

Great to Bramblings,very nice Images.
When you've finnished with them,please point them towards Cornwall.
Happy New Year.

Adam said...

Nice one Tony - I've looking for them for the month or so, especially with this hard weather I'd have expected to see at laest one!