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Bullfinch question?

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Old Sunday 16th February 2020, 12:26   #1
KenM
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Bullfinch question?

Have lived in my Locale for 60 years edging onto deciduous woodland. Bullfinches have certainly become very scarce over the last thirty odd years, thus any occurrences are closely monitored by myself.

Late January I had several sightings of a pair, as per normal very elusive and unapproachable, however on the last sighting I had a female flying from atop a hornbeam across the ride to a lofty oak where I took this shot.

I can never recall Bullfinch sitting exposed atop a tree as this before, apart from one year when there was a small influx of Northern Bullfinches which were postured quite differently, four perched shoulder to shoulder and bolt upright which made them ''appear'' perhaps a trifle bigger.

Am not suggesting that this sighting is of a NB, but more asking the question if this ''exposed'' prominent posturing is a regular feature in other areas where they might be more numerous?

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Old Sunday 16th February 2020, 12:46   #2
ClarkWGriswold
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Hi Ken. We've got a few locally and they don't tend to sit so exposed. They're quite happy to sit on the feeders when I'm in the kitchen so aren't particularly skittish.

Rich
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Old Sunday 16th February 2020, 13:11   #3
dantheman
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See them far more frequently than Greenfinches down here in Cornwall.

Have seen them perched totally exposed on telephone wires on the odd occasion, and the female I saw earlier this year in the 'garden birds' thread was perched exposed in the top of the hedge, for example. So whilst they tend to be a bit retiring and like cover they can be seen out in the open imo.
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Old Sunday 16th February 2020, 14:01   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClarkWGriswold View Post
Hi Ken. We've got a few locally and they don't tend to sit so exposed. They're quite happy to sit on the feeders when I'm in the kitchen so aren't particularly skittish.

Rich
Interesting that numeracy and habitat might be a factor in differing behaviour Clark. I can recall having breakfast in a hotel restaurant in Shropshire a few years ago, adjacent to a large open garden with hawthorn hedges. Where a casual glance revealed c8+ male Bullfinches perched like large red fruits amongst. Having only ever seen a single pair before I was left suitably open mouthed...and not just because there was a sausage on the end of my fork!

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See them far more frequently than Greenfinches down here in Cornwall.

Have seen them perched totally exposed on telephone wires on the odd occasion, and the female I saw earlier this year in the 'garden birds' thread was perched exposed in the top of the hedge, for example. So whilst they tend to be a bit retiring and like cover they can be seen out in the open imo.
As mentioned to Clark above Dan, it might appear that the subtle differences in habitat may well contribute to a better dynamic for certain species and that’s without taking pollution into account, a conundrum for all to consider. Sixty years ago Greenfinches were in their scores on forest ground...haven’t seen one here so far this year.
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Old Sunday 16th February 2020, 15:35   #5
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Bullfinches perch up regularly in flocks of up to a dozen on the tops of tall hawthorns near my partner's place just outside Newcastle, and visit her sunflower seed feeders.
They also feed on the ground and perch up on dead stems on an adjoining unmown conservation area, along with linnets, goldfinches, reed buntings and tree sparrows - which also isn't what I think of as typical bullfinch habitat.
She hasn't lived there long enough to discern any trends in abundance / frequency, but they're certainly common enough in the area.
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Old Sunday 16th February 2020, 16:33   #6
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Bullfinches perch up regularly in flocks of up to a dozen on the tops of tall hawthorns near my partner's place just outside Newcastle, and visit her sunflower seed feeders.
They also feed on the ground and perch up on dead stems on an adjoining unmown conservation area, along with linnets, goldfinches, reed buntings and tree sparrows - which also isn't what I think of as typical bullfinch habitat.
She hasn't lived there long enough to discern any trends in abundance / frequency, but they're certainly common enough in the area.
Sounds like your partner’s habitat is not only rich in Bullfinch kb...but also other seedeaters which were once regular here sixty years ago but no more excepting Goldfinch. Perhaps higher concentrations of species does actually alter the behavioural dynamic, my area is a much depleted region for many species that once were. It’s one thing reading about the past but doesn’t compare to having lived through it.

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Old Sunday 16th February 2020, 19:07   #7
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We don't get many bullfinches down here, but I do remember my first sighting in Scotland (Fife) many years ago. I was at a friend's house in a rural setting and I saw a pair fleeting around the tops of a sort of spruce hedge bordering their garden and then eventually settling on the very top of a tree. Subsequent sightings have all been in denser vegetation and lower down though.
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Old Sunday 16th February 2020, 19:16   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenM View Post
Sounds like your partner’s habitat is not only rich in Bullfinch kb...but also other seedeaters which were once regular here sixty years ago but no more excepting Goldfinch. Perhaps higher concentrations of species does actually alter the behavioural dynamic, my area is a much depleted region for many species that once were. It’s one thing reading about the past but doesn’t compare to having lived through it.

Cheers
It can't help that the next County over, shoots them or did.
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Old Sunday 16th February 2020, 21:00   #9
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Originally Posted by andyadcock View Post
It can't help that the next County over, shoots them or did.
I understand that in commercially farmed fruit growing areas...Bullfinch and Hawfinch may well be “unpopular”.
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