6th December 2017

Chaffinches from Scandinavia begin to double our native populations now. As usual, we have more female than male, which is due to differential migration. The 18th Century naturalist, Linnaeus, noticed this when he gave them their scientific name, Fringilla Coelebs. Coelebs means ‘unmarried’ and in his home Scandinavia he noted more males than females over winter, assuming they were bachelors. Males are more dominant in winter, and can forage for food better in colder areas, so females are more likely to migrate  West  to find enough food. However, female Chaffinches dominate in summer. Conditions: Mild and cloudy with heavy rain and strong winds moving in tonight. Temperature: Max 10- Min 8C.

Female Chaffinch

Female Chaffinch

Male Chaffinch

Female and Male Chaffinch drawing

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1st December 2017

This healthy, (ringed) female Sparrowhawk, flying in yesterday, at first scared all the other birds away. After a couple of minutes, a Magpie landed in the same tree and started to approach. They eyeballed each other but it wasn’t until a second Magpie arrived that the first dared to get really close and scare the Sparrowhawk off. Meanwhile, the little birds quickly pick up, from body language, whether the Hawk is in hunting mode–  after 3 or 4 minutes, six Blue Tits had  reappeared in the tree and happily fed a few feet from her. Conditions: Cold and bright. Temperature: Max 5- Min 3C.

Female (note the ring) Sparrowhawk

Magpie scares off Sparrowhawk