We set out this morning in a chill wind with a mission in mind. We had seen the reports of Hawfinch being seen in the churchyard of St Margaret’s Church at Barming and as they appeared to be still showing on and off, decided it was an opportunity not to be missed.
As we travelled along the approach road towards the car park, we could see a few cars and people with binoculars and cameras. This looked promising. There was a very helpful chap that had seen the Hawfinch earlier and pointed us in the right direction and thanks to his guidance and to the birders in the churchyard, we were on a Hawfinch straight away high up in one of the trees that they had apparently been seen in most. What a delight it was to see this magnificent finch. So sharp was its plumage, it almost looked military to me. And what a beak! Certainly adapted to break open some hefty fruit kernels and seed.
Apparently Hawfinch, although resident birds, have scattered populations and are shy, so I feel very honoured to have actually now seen them. As we stayed there, another Hawfinch joined the one in the tree and then flew away with yet another, so our final tally was three. We were thrilled to have witnessed one, so to have seen three, was a huge bonus.
Chris took the photographs, so all credit to him for cricking his neck and having a steady enough hold on the camera to get these very high up shots against a wind and cloudy sky!
Julie and Chris