19 December 2010


Swamped with Chaffinches at the moment, the garden is ringing with 'pink,... pink'. Only they're not pink are they? Or, at least, not entirely pink. The vast majority of mine are a varying combination of a quite deeply saturated ruddy orange on the 'face' and chin and a pastel frosty pink on the breast and flanks, with a gradient between the two tones occurring somewhere about the upper breast. I do seem to have one or two extreme birds, either entirely earthy orange or predominantly pallid pink, but they stick out from the crowd. It would be poetic justice if the former were of semi-local farmland stock and the latter wanderers from frost-nipped northern climes but, unfortunately, I fear it's just pesky within-population variation raising it's head once again. Of course, if I got out there and slapped a load more rings on them, I might get some way along the road to Chaffinch enlightenment but it's way too cold to bother the poor little blighters, so I'm just filling them with semi-locally grown seed [is Hampshire semi-local?] and hoping they hang around once the ice age breaks.

'Pink',... at least on the breast and flanks. Quite a few birds were tucking a foot away whilst perched today,... the RaSPBerries should start handing out finch slippers.

Bugger all Bramblings today and still no Waxwings,... which is precisely why I'm taking an unhealthy interest in the common shite.

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