Tuesday 4 January 2011

My village finches and sparrows

On holiday in Bulgaria, and on walks in my village I have come across several different types of finch and sparrow without really going out and searching. They are mostly commonplace there.

tree sparrow, village north of Varna

In summer I have seen flocks of Spanish sparrow in my village but in winter they have gone south - who knows they may be in Libya at the moment? certainly there are a lot more Spanish sparrow in Libya in winter (and in places where you don't see them in summer) and virtually none left in Bulgaria.

In winter I think I can say tree sparrow is the most abundant sparrow. Certainly the flocks are very mobile and give the impression of being everywhere.

a scene from my village

They are not particularly shy and close up pictures were relatively easy to take.

two more local tree sparrow

House sparrow are also abundant. The one below is special because it is my house sparrow in the sense it was photographed on my house.

house sparrow perched on my house

The most common finch is chaffinch. I was quite surprised the birds I saw were not part of large flocks but in ones and twos. Perhaps someone could tell me why this is. Are they local birds which have stayed put? Is it only migrant chaffinch that flock?

chaffinch in my village

I think its time to remind you that all these birds can be seen within 500 metres of my house within the village and on a walk to a friend's house. It's fairly effortless birding!

However I have cheated a bit with the goldfinch below. They were seen on my walks within the village but this photo comes from a longer walk to the next village.

local goldfinch

Unlike the chaffinch they were definitely flocking.

The final finch saw was not common place like the others. I managed to see just one greenfinch - perched on the apex of a tree.

local greenfinch

Tomorrow I'll post the third of three blogs on my village birds. There's quite an eclectic mix to come. 

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