Friday, 8 March 2013

Hawfinches Revisited

In December 2012 I went to Bramfield Church to try and photograph the Hawfinches that had re-appeared there this winter. I did manage to get this shot, although photography was difficult as they were high in a tree against a sky background.

As it was a sunny afternoon I thought I would try again as there had been a number of sightings over the last few days. When I arrived there was no-one else there and so I took up a position on the south side of the churchyard with the sun behind me. I almost immediately spotted one bird high in the trees above me and obscured by a number of twigs. That bird eventually flew off west.

By now a few other birders had arrived and after an hour or so, another bird was found in a most unlikely position. I have seen a number of Hawfinches over the years and they have all been either high in a tree or feeding on the ground. This bird, however, was perched just three feet off the ground in a hedge on the north side of the churchyard. The hedge obviously gave it security as it stayed there for at least 10 minutes, despite the row of telescopes and a couple of cameras, before moving into deeper shadow further along the hedge. What an amazing opportunity.

A couple of days later I returned to the site and was immediately lucky with a bird sitting up in the trees in the churchyard. This time, however, the bird was not right at the top and, some of the time, was in the sun allowing a couple of good shots.

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