Rambling for winter bramblings


Brambling, Chesterfield Canal

To start the new year of our birding exploits, we have a fantastic little bird to introduce to you.  To get these pictures we’ve walked through cold and rain – it took us quite a while to locate this little finch: the brambling.  The summer male is a superb colourful bird with a glossy black head, bright orange breast and wings with white and black  bars.   The female is much browner with a lighter orange face and breast. In flight they carry a white rump.


Brambling, Chesterfield Canal

Bramblings are summer visitors to Northern Europe and a winter visitor to the rest of Europe, including Britain.  They are seen in woodlands, parks, farmlands and occasionally gardens.  They are widespread in the winter months, with variable numbers.  The brambling loves to feed on seeds, especially beech.  The males in our pictures don’t have the dark heads as they are currently in winter plumage, but if you look closely some of the blackish heads are retained.


Brambling, Chesterfield Canal

The bramblings we’ve managed to get have been mixed in with chaffinches, which are quite similar when looking at them all together in the tree tops and hedges.

As you can see, the male chaffinch has a slate blue crown and neck with a deep chestnut back.


Chaffinches, Chesterfield Canal

The chaffinch is one of the most common birds in the British Isles, and a regular visitor to gardens.  It nests in trees and hedges.  The nest is beautiful – made of moss, grass and lichen, lined with fine hair.

The following chaffinch pictures were taken last spring and summer in King’s Park – in the light you can see their beautiful colours.

chaffinch kings park 3.JPG

The song is a sweet descending scale ending in a flourish and can be repeated several times.  The alarm call is a “pink pink” sound, and we often refer to it as “pinking”.

chaffinch kings park 4.JPG

chaffinch kings park.JPG

The sightings of the bramblings have really made it a good start to the new year, as we only saw one of these last year.  Seeing half a dozen amongst the chaffinches was quite a treat, and I’m sure you’ll agree it is a pretty, colourful little finch.

Alison and I would like to wish all our readers a happy new year!  Get ready for many surprises during 2017!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s