Monthly Archives: January 2022

Fairfield Chaffinches and Bramblings. Their comings and goings.

Birdwatchers at the feeding tables in Fairfield have been enjoying the spectacle of large numbers of Chaffinches, whilst trying to spot the small number of their close relative the Brambling.

Probably about half the Chaffinches will be migrants, mostly from Norway and Sweden. They migrate mainly by day but rather than heading directly to Britain they fly south-west to cross the Channel from France, Belgium, and The Netherlands. This avoids the longer crossing of water over the North Sea.

The Bramblings we see in Britain are almost entirely migrants, mainly from Scandinavia and Finland. Unlike the Chaffinch they migrate mainly at night and head directly for Britain, crossing the North Sea on a broad front.

The Bramblings and migrant Chaffinches will probably begin returning to their breeding grounds in early March.

January Flush Count

A lot of standing water in the marshes this morning, and challenging depths of mud for the team in places. 90 snipe counted. The Hay Meadow and School Pond yielded one apiece, Upper Sowerholme two. All the rest were in Big Meadow, 21 of them jacks. This is the highest January total since 2014.  Two ravens flew overhead as we left Big Meadow for the Fauna path.