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.