Thursday, 9 February 2017

Hawfinches at Lynford Arboretum

24th January 2017

Lynford Arboretum has been very quiet this winter with virtually no reports coming out, but recently Hawfinches have been seen during the day and going into roost so time for a visit. On our way down to The Paddock the first bird to pose for a shot was this little Jenny Wren. There was also a flock of 20 Bramblings feeding on the leaf litter, but very skittish, with just a single alarm call from a Blackbird sending them for cover.

Down by the lake a small flock of Siskins were feeding in the Alders. Conditions here were not very good as the birds were mostly feeding inside the branches rather than the outside, but I did manage to get a few shots as one or two birds became a little braver.

Now down to the bridge and what a result!! As well as providing some seed on the bridge pillars to attract the birds, some fore-sighted photographer had placed some strategically positioned moss-covered logs above the seed to allow some shots of the birds in a more natural setting before they dropped down on to the seed. Even better, the logs were in sun light, but the background was in shade to give a natural black back-cloth.

Blue, Coal and Marsh Tits were all well represented, as well as the local Robin. Some of the Marsh Tits seemed more at home on the seed than on the log.

This female Reed Bunting seemed too shy to come on to the log and the seed, but seemed happier to sit in a more natural pose on some dead vegetation by the stream.

But the star today on the Lynford Arboretum Magic Log was the Nuthatch which paid many visits, but always very fleeting so you had to keep your wits about you. This type of photography without a hide is so effective and so simple that I am sure I will try it at some other sites.

But now on to the business at hand. The Hawfinches have mainly been seen in and around the paddock, but none there when we arrived. However, as time ticked by, one or two birds started gathering at the tops of the very tall pines making photography quite difficult. The smaller bird is a Brambling.

But then one bird moved a little lower down and gave some shots when it was illuminated by the late afternoon sun.

What a great day!!

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