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.