2008 Highlights – Brambling

The winter of 2007/8 appeared good for Brambling across the UK and we were lucky enough to have a resident female for a few weeks in January. Although superficially like a chaffinch, to which they are closely related, the bird displayed its distinctive brilliant white rump while feeding on our nut feeders and, on closer viewing, revealed its delicate orange washed breast and dark mottled back.

Bramblings are winter migrants from Scandanavia and, to a smaller degree, Russia. Their winter population in the UK varies with the quantities of beech mast (beech seeds) available. If there is a poor crop in Europe and a decent crop here up to two million birds may make the flight across the North Sea. Conversely, good beech mast supplies in Europe may lead to as few as 50,000 birds present. Male bramblings, like their chaffinch relatives, tend to winter further north and east, leaving the females to travel further, hence the gender of the bird in our garden.

While ours seemed to enjoy feeding on one of our wire mesh peanut feeders, they are primarily ground feeders and are said to enjoy a scattering of peanut granules and mixed seed.

For more information there’s an article by Chris Mead here.


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  • About

    In this blog we'll describe the day to day comings and goings of the birds in our Devon garden.
  • About us

    Tony is a naturalist and environmental artist. Laura is a free range creative web and print designer. We've recently moved from the village of Ipplepen to the town of Newton Abbot with our two children Ralph and Oli, our dog Henry, and numerous cats (none of whom would ever dream of eating birds).
  • Species List

    List of species, including only those birds that land in the garden:
    Blue tit
    Carrion Crow
    Chiff chaff
    Coal tit
    Collared dove
    Great spotted woodpecker
    Great tit
    House Sparrow
    Long tailed tit
    Mistle thrush
    Pied wagtail
    Song thrush
    Wood pigeon

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