Tuesday, 10 January 2017

The Bullfinch.

Towards Glasson Dock yesterday, a bird flew some distance ahead of me across the coastal path and into the trees, it had a white rump, when I caught up with the bird it was a female Bullfinch. 

It's always a bonus to find the Bullfinch anywhere in our recording area away from traditional sites, and Monday's bird was certainly an unexpected one for me, in all my years birding I never saw the species here before, and they are pretty scarce at Thurnham barely a mile away and to the south from here.

Female Bullfinch. Noushka @ 1000-Pattes

The Bullfinch is currently refered to in our recording area as a....'Fairly common, resident breeder in south-east Cumbria, the Arnside and Silverdale area, Heysham, and the Lune Valley, it is only occasionally recorded in north Fylde'....the species is on the Amber List. 

My most interesting sightings of Bullfinch have been of four seen at the foot of Birk Bank on the fringe of Bowland on 1 November 2004, with four seen here again 22 November, and eight on 18 December. This was the year of an invasion of northern Bullfinch, which - though their racial/population identity has yet to be resolved - they are mainly distinguished as being larger and more easily identified by their 'toy trumpet' call. During this irruption in 2004, over 1,000 Bullfinch were in Orkney and Shetland alone.

More recently, I noted records in the Fylde Annual Report 2014 of two Bullfinch on the Conder Estuary 18 January, and three at Galgate 26 July, these are in the same year I found five Bullfinch in Lancaster Cemetery on Quernmore Road on 31 October.

Interesting that only four British ringed Bullfinch have ever been recovered abroad, of which one was in Belgium, and two in France, the fourth was a bird ringed in SE Scotland in winter, and was recovered in a later winter 1,600km away in Northern Sweden. Only one foreign ringed Bullfinch has been recovered in Britain, this bird moved from the Netherlands to Essex.


Richard Pegler said...

We do quite well for Bullfinches in these parts, Pete, although they are always an absolute delight to see. They are an 'uncommon' visitor to our garden, but we started getting visits a couple of weeks ago and now numbers have built up such that we now have three females and two males visiting regularly. I've not yet managed to get any decent images, however!

Best wishes - - Richard

Pete Woodruff said...

Good that you get the Bullfinch in your garden, your'e sure to get some excellent images of these birds sooner or later.

As you will have noted the Bullfinch is a localised bird in our area, and as such my sighting of a female at this location went down in my book as a rarity and will remain there as such.

Thanks for your interest and contribution Richard.

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Lovely female of Bullfinch.. Have a great weekend Pete