Somewhat surprisingly the second commonest UK breeding bird is the Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) with an estimated 6.2 million pairs.  This number is boosted in the winter by migrants from the continent who find seeds hard to come by.  A small bird, about 5.5 inches long (14.5cm) it has a lovely song and a finc finc call.  In Norfolk it was called the ‘Spink’ after it’s call.  They can be seen in flocks in woodland, farmland, parks and gardens where seeds can be found.

They may be common but they are still an attractive species. This is the male, I like the way the colours of the woodland background mirror those of the bird

20 thoughts on “Chaffinch

  1. A beauty. I never saw one when I was growing up and I was quite the bird enthusiast as a kid.
    My folks had a pair of Goldfinches visit their garden for a while a year or so back, and dad was thrilled. He used to give me updates when we phoned each other. But their neighbour cut down a tree close to the dividing fence and sadly the birds left and never returned.

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  2. Birds. Everyone has birds … New Zealand is a desert by comparison. Sure, we have ducks and a breeding colony of albatri and a chook-sized bird with a long nose, full of shit and can’t fly … but real birds? Avian envy, I’ll die from it one day.

    I remember one evening in Scotland when I got home after overtime to our rented cottage way way out in the country, and the sky was horizon-to-horizon with geese I couldn’t see but could hear, endless honking that actually overpowered me with emotions.

    All we seem to have is ducks and hunters banging them …

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    1. Very sad Argus, according to wiki the Chaffinch was introduced into NZ by British settlers looking to bring a piece of home with them (along with rats,cats stoats and whatever!). Are they all gone?


      1. Probably some around, but I stand by NZ being a bird-free zone compared to the UK. Effectively a nature-free zone—you’d have to experience both to see where I’m at.

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  3. What an interesting bird – I see that the coloring provides it camouflage while foraging on the ground. Needless to say, statebound I have never experienced this bird and always appreciative when I you introduce them to me. They also possesses and impressive set of claws which was not expected from a rather small bird. Of course the shot is excellent as well – not only did you get the glint in the eye the well placed light band takes your eye right to it. Liking all these bird posts as of late ha!

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  4. I always think it’s a bit unfortunate for those birds that are named “common”, it seems a bit unfair somehow? Chaffinches are beautiful, I love their colors and friendly faces! And their call is cheerful too 🙂 Nice picture Brian!

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