It seems to take an extreme weather event to get me out to my local patch at Swineham these days, and with the combined impacts of Storm Emma and the 'Beast from the East' bringing unusual blizzard conditions to Dorset, I felt sure it would be worth a look on Saturday morning. The walk from home to the gravel pits takes me through the graveyard of Wareham St Mary Church, the gate to which was frozen stuck. To circumvent this I stepped over a short wall and flushed a chunky finch from beneath a Yew Tree - Hawfinch!
|Female Hawfinch - note the grey panel on the secondaries|
|Male Hawfinch - note the more steely grey bill, richer colouration in the head, blue panel in the secondaries and all black primaries|
|The male stayed stubbornly in the shadows apart from this brief pose on the churchyard wall|
|A good view of the powerful bill...|
|Note the crinkly primary feathers in this rear view|
|Cracking seeds foraged from the ground|