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UK Hawfinch occurence last weekend....?

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Old Thursday 16th November 2017, 17:40   #101
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True, but is that because they are strictly night migrants where they have the option to be, or because they are migrating too high up to identify? They'd only have to be 100 m or so above ground level to be effectively unidentifiable; if they're 3 km high (as many small passerines can be), no chance!!
Be interesting if someone has access to the data from that vismig from a tethered ballon experiment back in the past in the Sheffield area.
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Old Friday 17th November 2017, 07:47   #102
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True, but is that because they are strictly night migrants where they have the option to be, or because they are migrating too high up to identify? They'd only have to be 100 m or so above ground level to be effectively unidentifiable; if they're 3 km high (as many small passerines can be), no chance!!
It's getting a little off topic but still I feel I'd like to answer.

You are right, how can you be sure they don't just fly higher than the others? Well, you can't on a certain day. Possibly one shouldn't be too dogmatic about the whole thing. Birds can be very flexible. Still there are species you would call (predominantly) nocturnal migrants. As I said before barrier crossing is different. This recent paper is adressing the very question:
Adamik et al. 2016

They analysed geolocator data of four predominantly nocturnal migrating passerine species and did find regular diurnal movements over barriers but not on regular migration north of the Mediteranean.
Surely not a proof against your hypothisis but a good indication...
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Old Friday 17th November 2017, 09:00   #103
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Finally ! had one over the Canley area of Coventry this morning
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Old Friday 17th November 2017, 09:45   #104
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This recent paper is adressing the very question:
Adamik et al. 2016
Thanks! Very interesting
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Old Thursday 23rd November 2017, 17:53   #105
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After parking the car then taking a short walk to the ''going to roost'' view spot in Herts. I scanned the trees for perhaps 20 mins (to no avail), thus decided to turnaround and retrace my steps, in doing so...I espied an odd looking protrusion atop lofty pine, some several rows back behind a matrix of twigs. It was a straight choice...camera or bins? I opted to shoot first! a quick manual focus ''Christ it is!'' followed by the shutter release, and this grab was taken from just a short film clip. Dropped camera and picked up bins...it had vanished just like ''the airline''

On a more serious note the roost numbers appeared to be somewhat reduced since the reported 60+ of last week, and the 20+earlier this week! I could only raise c6 this evening! Am hoping that my endeavours today were just the ''tip of the iceberg'' and that the core numbers were still present, albeit hidden from view. I don't know if Hawfinches alternate their roost sites, or disperse into smaller roosts elsewhere, time might tell hopefully.

Cheers
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Old Thursday 23rd November 2017, 18:56   #106
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Had my best ever Hawfinch views at Haldon Forrest last Sunday, maybe 20+ in total, obligingly staying quite still in nearby treetops for quite long periods.
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Old Thursday 23rd November 2017, 19:09   #107
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Seen many in Europe, but only previously ever had one fleeting view in the UK of a pair flying over when we lived in the New Forest in the late Eighties, so I've been keeping my eyes skyward and ears tuned as I've been out and about doing surveys and general birding, walking etc etc and ....... not a thing, despite several being recorded within a few miles of our house on the Surrey/Sussex border.

Then ..... on Saturday morning I'm sat in the kitchen scanning the feeders and trees in the garden for my BTO Garden Birdwatch count and wtf is that among the Chaffinches and fallen leaves at the bottom of the garden under the apple trees. And it (or they - could be two as the first one was a male and other I saw today looks to be female) have been back every day since.

They are remarkably hard to see among the leaves for such a brightly coloured bird.

Trying to get better photos but it/they will opt for the farthest/gloomiest/shadiest corner of the garden, or amongst twigs/leaves in the trees up to now.

Still .... never thought I'd be adding Hawfinch to my Garden Birdwatch list! Wonder low long it/they'll hang around?

Mick
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Old Thursday 23rd November 2017, 19:25   #108
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Well done Mick....you lucky bugger! if they stay till March/April the male will morph into what I consider simply the best pallette of colours "on the birding block" so to speak, am wondering what stones are being cracked in image 3?

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Old Thursday 23rd November 2017, 19:30   #109
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am wondering what stones are being cracked in image 3?

Cheers
Thanks Ken ... I am indeed!

Stones are likely Wild Cherry stones. There is a tree directly above where he is, and it gets stripped of fruit in late summer, but the blackbirds etc., only want the juicy bits! Haven't been down to check as I don't want to do anything to cause it/them to sod off just yet.

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Old Thursday 23rd November 2017, 19:42   #110
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Thanks Ken ... I am indeed!

Stones are likely Wild Cherry stones. There is a tree directly above where he is, and it gets stripped of fruit in late summer, but the blackbirds etc., only want the juicy bits! Haven't been down to check as I don't want to do anything to cause it/them to sod off just yet.

Mick
A wise decision Mick, I think if I were you, I'd attempt to procure a ready supply of Wild Cherry stones and supplement till Spring.
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Old Friday 24th November 2017, 05:58   #111
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Originally Posted by MTem View Post
Seen many in Europe, but only previously ever had one fleeting view in the UK of a pair flying over when we lived in the New Forest in the late Eighties, so I've been keeping my eyes skyward and ears tuned as I've been out and about doing surveys and general birding, walking etc etc and ....... not a thing, despite several being recorded within a few miles of our house on the Surrey/Sussex border.

Then ..... on Saturday morning I'm sat in the kitchen scanning the feeders and trees in the garden for my BTO Garden Birdwatch count and wtf is that among the Chaffinches and fallen leaves at the bottom of the garden under the apple trees. And it (or they - could be two as the first one was a male and other I saw today looks to be female) have been back every day since.

They are remarkably hard to see among the leaves for such a brightly coloured bird

Trying to get better photos but it/they will opt for the farthest/gloomiest/shadiest corner of the garden, or amongst twigs/leaves in the trees up to now.

Still .... never thought I'd be adding Hawfinch to my Garden Birdwatch list! Wonder low long it/they'll hang around?

Mick

Excellent photos Mick, love that camouflage !!
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Old Friday 24th November 2017, 13:01   #112
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Thanks Mark. I confirmed today there are at least 2, possibly 3 as I saw 2 together and another soon after at the other end of the garden. Also one male came out of the darkest corner around lunchtime and allowed some photos at lower ISO (from 3200 to 640), so better quality. Still a big crop as still 40m+ away, but better IQ than before. Still will not sit up in the cherry tree in the morning sun without being deep in the twigs ..... some folk are never happy ...:)

Mick
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Old Friday 24th November 2017, 17:25   #113
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Thanks Mark. I confirmed today there are at least 2, possibly 3 as I saw 2 together and another soon after at the other end of the garden. Also one male came out of the darkest corner around lunchtime and allowed some photos at lower ISO (from 3200 to 640), so better quality. Still a big crop as still 40m+ away, but better IQ than before. Still will not sit up in the cherry tree in the morning sun without being deep in the twigs ..... some folk are never happy ...:)

Mick
Green with envy! Would love these on my GBW list! Fabulous photos; hope they stay with you.
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Old Wednesday 29th November 2017, 12:51   #114
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Thanks Mark. I confirmed today there are at least 2, possibly 3 as I saw 2 together and another soon after at the other end of the garden. Also one male came out of the darkest corner around lunchtime and allowed some photos at lower ISO (from 3200 to 640), so better quality. Still a big crop as still 40m+ away, but better IQ than before. Still will not sit up in the cherry tree in the morning sun without being deep in the twigs ..... some folk are never happy ...:)

Mick
Chuck a load of black sunflower seed down! And maybe put up a portable hide! And maybe a few nice perches! That's what I'd be doing now if it was my garden!!!

I notice from Birdtrack that the number of reports seems to have peaked. Fewer birds around, or just less movement?
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Old Wednesday 29th November 2017, 14:04   #115
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Chuck a load of black sunflower seed down! And maybe put up a portable hide! And maybe a few nice perches! That's what I'd be doing now if it was my garden!!!

I notice from Birdtrack that the number of reports seems to have peaked. Fewer birds around, or just less movement?
There are two feeding stations in the garden, both hanging and ground feeders with black sunflower seeds refilled daily - and none of them ever went near them. They focussed exclusively on the cherry stones and field maple seeds still on the trees.

Sadly they seem to have moved on since Sat pm. Got some reasonable shots and lots of viewing.
Over the years I've spent many hours looking for these birds, and to find them in the garden was really special. Armchair birdwatching par excellence.
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Old Wednesday 29th November 2017, 14:39   #116
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Over the years I've spent many hours looking for these birds, and to find them in the garden was really special. Armchair birdwatching par excellence.
Mick
You've joined the privileged Grdn.Hwfnch.Club Mick.

A beautiful sunny morning 18th April 2004, Bullfinch (couldn't see it) "piping" from the forest behind, being a competent mimic...I called...call returned several times before the bird (a male) flew into garden with it's mate in tow!...another single "pipe" from me and it flew closer across the garden as did it's mate, which morphed into a stunning male Hawfinch!!!

I still can't quite believe it! (won't blame others if they don't either!)

PS I did get a record shot of the latter.
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Old Wednesday 29th November 2017, 15:27   #117
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There are two feeding stations in the garden, both hanging and ground feeders with black sunflower seeds refilled daily - and none of them ever went near them. They focussed exclusively on the cherry stones and field maple seeds still on the trees.

Sadly they seem to have moved on since Sat pm. Got some reasonable shots and lots of viewing.
Over the years I've spent many hours looking for these birds, and to find them in the garden was really special. Armchair birdwatching par excellence.
Mick
Shame they didn't hang around longer. I'm a bit surprised they didn't go for the easy meal of sunflower seeds. Maybe later in the winter, when the natural food begins to run out, you'll get another visit!
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Old Thursday 30th November 2017, 09:14   #118
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Each year my pals and I try to see Hawfinch.
It's a while since we've been successful in Cheshire but occasionally 'score' in Derbyshire (at Cromford) but generally better results in North Wales (at Llandbedr-y-Cellin) post Black Grouse viewing at World's End.

My first ever Hawfinch was just after I started birding in 1989, I was working near near Alderley Edge (Cheshire) when I saw one from a second storey laboratory window in a mature beech tree.
I was on Scilly in October and saw a flock of thirty (30) at Maypole.

But all that couldn't dampen my excitement at seeing two outside a laboratory window at Keele University - this morning. Fabulous birds.
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Old Sunday 3rd December 2017, 13:56   #119
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After an absence of about a week at least one returned to the garden today and spent a half-hour feeding on the field maple seeds until one of the now ex-grey squirrels barged in and scared it off.
Hope it returns and brings some of its mates.
Mick
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Old Monday 4th December 2017, 08:35   #120
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After an absence of about a week at least one returned to the garden today and spent a half-hour feeding on the field maple seeds until one of the now ex-grey squirrels barged in and scared it off.
Hope it returns and brings some of its mates.
Mick
I guess the ex grey squirrel is because it left your garden peacefully ??
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Old Monday 4th December 2017, 10:22   #121
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I guess the ex grey squirrel is because it left your garden peacefully ??
I suspect with some encouragement.........
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Old Tuesday 5th December 2017, 08:49   #122
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More "Eur-exiteers"? after a month of "nowt" this morning at 8.45 out of the grey gloom, 5 birds (at first thought Redwings, being fore-shortened and viewed from behind, dropped in to the "same" favoured Hornbeam, one at the top, and four below then one exited, and the rest just vanished...par for the course for this "Tree Top Puffin". I think Theresa May should use the Hawfinch as a bargaining chip....do the deal or we'll keep your Hawfinches!...A-a-a-a-h..if only we could.
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Old Tuesday 5th December 2017, 11:33   #123
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I think Theresa May should use the Hawfinch as a bargaining chip....do the deal or we'll keep your Hawfinches!...A-a-a-a-h..if only we could.
Would be a waste of time - we have got billions of them, don't need them back, thanks. You can keep our left overs.

Besides, isn't Britain's position it doesn't want EU migrants, not that it is threatening to keep them :)
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Old Tuesday 5th December 2017, 13:00   #124
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Would be a waste of time - we have got billions of them, don't need them back, thanks. You can keep out left overs.

Besides, isn't Britain's position it doesn't want EU migrants, not that it is threatening to keep them :)
..........you might have to become an exile Joss :)
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Old Tuesday 26th December 2017, 08:52   #125
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Just a thought!....with large numbers of Redpolls in continental Europe, and with a Dutch bird found to have a Chinese ring!!!...might their be a correlation with other finch species at present, emanating possibly from the far eastern part of their respective ranges, as a colleague reported perhaps more Hawfinches than usual in and around Budapest this Winter?
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