Hawfinches!

This morning I decided to brave the £4.50 entry charge and check out Wentworth Castle Gardens at Stainborough for the hawfinches that have been seen there recently. It proved to be a lot more successful than the trip to Clumber Park in January, and I soon got on to at least two of them, using the ramparts of Stainborough Castle folly as a viewing platform. They were very flighty, and only gave fairly brief views as they moved among the trees, but it was a great bird to finally track down. I didn’t manage any photos, due to the light and flightiness of the birds.

Sadly my dad, who I’d persuaded to act as the wheels today, couldn’t follow my gibbered instructions as they flew around, and didn’t get a good view. After not too long, a large party with kids arrived and started playing in the folly, so hawfinch-spotting had to be aborted. A tip if you go looking – try as early as possible (unfortunately the gardens don’t open until 10am), and if you can go on a school day!

Other spots from the gardens included more nuthatches than you could shake a stick at, a couple of flocks of siskin, and a tawny owl hooting at around 11am.

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Pete

My name is Pete

4 thoughts on “Hawfinches!”

  1. I’m not sure… they’ve been reported regularly on BirdGuides since the start of Feb, but I’m not sure of any earlier reports. I always thought I’d have to go to Cromford or Nottinghamshire for them, this was refreshingly close to home!

  2. I heard an owl hoot outside my house (on Commonside) as I arrived home on Friday night. Not an expert on bird calls though, so not sure what type. Have heard owls around there before, but not for a couple of years.

    1. Hi Dan. It will have been a tawny – they’re the ones that make the typical hoot you hear on TV night scenes, and are also the most common in (sub)urban areas. I used to hear and see them quite often when I lived in Walkley.

      Little owls are the only other particularly common owl in this area, and they tend to stick to farmland and make a range of noises that don’t sound particularly hooty.

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