Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"They look like chaffinches to me"

One of my aims this year had been to get some shots of bramblings. I got some awful ones a couple of springs ago, and hoped to do better, but there were few around last winter, so after a fruitless spring I thought I'd missed my chance. This autumn has been different (does that mean anything weather-wise?), and for some time reports of birds have popped up all over the area. I got my female shots (see last post), but was keen to get the male, so I spent a few more mornings hanging around Beechenhurst.
He was a bit reluctant, so I spent some time trying out an idea I had to use my Panasonic FZ30 on a wide angle setting with a long cable release to get some close ups. Unlike a DSLR it has a silent action, so once the birds have accepted the camera it shouldn't put them off. Focusing proved somewhat tricky but eventually I got a couple of reasonable shots of a nuthatch and marsh tit on the bird table. Definitely worth more experimenting.

Anyway, eventually the male brambling did appear. The light was rubbish and it was a pretty active feeder - you know how some birds just move all the time - but I got a couple of OK shots in the end. Despite Kay's comment (see title), I think he's rather gorgeous. She's right in as much as this is the northern relative of the chaffinch, both being Fringilla species.

The name probably has nothing to do with brambles, but is derived from brandling, an old word for brindled pattern - look at the back view below and you can see how this could be true.

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