Wednesday, 27 October 2010

View from...

The view from our front windows has been enhanced in the past few weeks by the appearance of several 'new' species of bird visiting the Hawthorn tree in our front garden.  I mentioned the pair of Goldcrests seen for the first time yesterday.  I am still hopeful of getting a picture of them although I haven't seen them today but, we have also had a pair of Coal Tits (Periparus ater) visiting the branches over the past week or so.  These have proven equally difficult to capture on camera.  The last few mornings have seen a pair of Chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs) visiting us.  Not an uncommon sight by any means, but I think a first for our tree.
One of Britain's most common breeding birds, Chaffinch numbers hit about 6,000,000 breeding pairs.  It's common name comes from it eating spilled grain left in farmyards, literally a 'chaff' finch.  It's scientific name 'Coelebs' comes from the Latin for 'bachelor' and refers to the bird's tendency to form single-sex flocks.  When Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus (who devised the system of Latin names for flora and fauna in the 18th century) was naming the Chaffinch, he saw only flocks of male birds in his country during the Winter, so thought they must all be 'bachelors'.
The Blue Tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) are still quite common in our tree with several vying for position on the fat-balls with the Sparrows each morning.
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