Sunday, January 19, 2014

hard to tell

I think this is a brambling in winter plumage, one of a small flock making high pitched "tink" to each other in Wareham woods today. These conifers are adjacent to some open fields.

A winter visitor to Britain, the Brambling is sometimes described as the Chaffinch of the north, for in the pine and birch forests of Scandinavia it seems to replace the Chaffinch as the commonest bird. In all plumages, Bramblings can be recognised by the obvious orange on the breast extending across the shoulders onto their wings. In winter the head and mantle are usually a blotchy grey-brown but in some birds these wear away to produce a stunning black head, even before they depart back to Scandinavia. In flight they show a neat rectangular white patch down the rump as well as white and orange in the wing. (from Guide to British Birds see link)

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