Monday, 12 November 2012

Brambling at Amwell

The newly excavated ditches in front of the viewpoint had started to attract Water Rails which could be viewed down to 20 yards, and therefore I set off to make the best of an otherwise gloomy day. Unfortunately, there was little activity although I did manage to see one individual run across one of the clearings. Then a call came through from Bill Last that a Brambling was coming to some seed that had been thrown down by the Gladwin Hide.

Four of us abandoned the viewpoint and set off down the track where Bill and Paul had seen the bird. It had disappeared for a few minutes although there were still quite a few Chaffinches and a Blue Tit in the bushes that were obviously keen to come down on to the path. While we were waiting a couple Jays were working their way along the verge, but clearly not interested in the seed on the path.

Then, as a number of Chaffinches plucked up courage to come down to the seed, the Brambling appeared from nowhere and joined them. The grey head shows that this is a male. Actually, the head feathers are not grey at all but black with grey fringes which overlap to give the grey appearance. During the winter months these grey fringes will wear away allowing the black breeding plumage head colour to show through.

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