Monday 9 February 2009


Although I was anxious to make the most of the snow and the garden birds, the presence of a hawfinch over at Cannock Chase had been niggling me for some time, and with the snow and the promise of some sunshine, I headed over to the feeding station early on Sunday morning.

Upon reaching Chase Road, it was obvious that the warnings of ice were on the money, with treacherous driving conditions, though why people in these 4x4s, made for such conditions can't exceed 3mph is beyond me. My torque-laden, turbo powered, nose-heavy, understeering Skoda seemed to be coping at speeds 5 times this ;-) yet their 4wd Chelsea-tractors couldn't. Eejits.

As expected on a Sunday, the car park as busy, with folks parked around the one popular end, leaving no room for other lazy photographers (me) to get near. I set up shop a bit further down, but my seeds only seemed to attract coal tits and a bossy robin. This was soon forgotten within minutes when the hawfinch arrived at the food next-door to me, and I got my first sighting and shots of this rather strange-looking bird. Such a big beak for a small bird, and it's pastel shades made it stand out from the crowd.
Problem with Cannock Chase is that at weekends, it's a mecca for mountain bikers, hikers, joggers and most despised of all, dog-walkers. One party of the latter, despite having the whole of the Chase to walk their beasts upon, chose to walk them right past and through the bird feeding area I was taking pictures of. They could see me quite clearly in my car, lens pointed at the birds, yet chose to walk on by.
"Oh, they've all flown away" one brain-of-Britain candidate exclaimed. My response of "No f**king sh*t Sherlock" encouraged them to walk off rather quickly. At least they'd bothered to keep the dogs on a lead, unlike many. Eejits, the place is crawling with them.

The good thing about this spot is the variety of birds and how close they come to you. I saw (deep breath) the hawfinch, long-tailed, coal, willow, blue and great tits, a nuthatch, jackdaws, rooks, a treecreeper, a cuddly toy, yellowhammers, dunnocks, robins, blackbirds, a teasmaid set, greenfinch, goldfinch, bullfinch, chaffinches, stock doves, a great spotted woodpecker, a jay, magpies and some fieldfares. Didn't get photos of all, but not bad for a day sat in the car!


Max Silverman said...

Hi Pete,
Great shots of the Hawfinch.Where you at Coppice Hill?I've been keen to go there but the weather has put me off.What a wimp!

Reg Telescope said...

Didn't you do well!