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Post Info TOPIC: Marbury Country Park


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RE: Marbury Country Park


A minimum of nine Hawfinch seen today around the Old Hall site. Two or three others were noted within the arboretum, with another group of four nearby. Most than likely some duplication in numbers.

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Well, What can I say?, this trip has rendered me speechless!

Last year, I was planning to view the hawfinches at Sizergh castle which took place in November. Though they showed, it was misty and silhouetted and not as good as my lifer view years prior. So rather than going all that way again at dawn in February, I thought I'd try those visitors in Marbury first. This was by far the best decision I made.

I Didn't know what to expect when I arrived at the park. I could hear two Hawfinches calling from a small conifer straight away in the area close and eventually i managed to see one close in full view and it stayed for 2 mins through a gap in the tree. But, nothing could have prepared me for the photographic results as I was impressed that they turned out well as usually shots taken at an awkward angle and through a tiny gap with lots of distractions and objects in the way for the camera ends up with blurry images!

This was a fine example of being in the right spot at the right moment! After which, we only caught glimpses of them.

41 species were seen with 3 others heard (jay, great spotted woodpecker and 3 water rails very close)

Other highlights were; sparrowhawk male, 3 buzzards showing superbly well calling, goldcrest, treecreeper, shelduck, Oystercatcher, goosander, and shoveler.

Ta!

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Around 17 Hawfinch were showing, at times very well, this morning along the western side of the arboretum.

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5 Hawfinches seen today, but I'm sure there were more to be heard around the Old Hall area. It was great to have prolonged views - the birds' call was quite distinctive and gave them away, but they remained reasonably mobile. I managed a record shot before one of the birds was scared off by an over enthusiastic Jack Russell



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Seven Hawfinch seen this morning in the usual Old Hall area. Sometimes elusive, today they were very active, coming and going over the forty five minutes I was there. On or by the Mere were seventy five Curlew, three Goosander, five Pochard and two Barnacle Goose amongst the usual fayre. One of the patch birders/photographers had an interesting photograph from yesterday showing an extremely small Canada Goose in amongst the flock. Size wise good for Cackling Goose but the bill wasnt stubby at all and just a tiny Canada.

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2 Hawfinch seen perched up in trees around the Old hall site, I had 6/7 sightings of Hawfinch in flight and perched up but never more that 2 in view together.
Also
Green Woodpecker calling in the same area
Greenfinch 7 in one flock
And a very unusual sighting of a fly through Kingfisher in a wooded and open area some distance from any water

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Doc Brewster wrote:

Passed on from a Marbury regular:

10 Hawfinch in trees near Rangers Cabins this morning, after 8 (of these) were seen in the car park earlier smile


Yes Paul amazing I was with the Marbury regular, Dave H when we found the 10 Hawfinch together in one of the bare trees, viewed from the area of the old hall, at 10.20 this morning. They stayed around for a while giving excellent views. Earlier there was a Buzzard feeding on the ground and flitting about near the picnic tables, a Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel over.  The raptors had left when the Hawfinch settled on the tree in the sunshine.

Also a nice surprise for me was a Kingfisher passing the hide overlooking the mere. 



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Passed on from a Marbury regular:

10 Hawfinch in trees near Rangers Cabins this morning, after 8 (of these) were seen in the car park earlier smile



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Late report for yesterday afternoon: 3 hawfinch flying over (not great views), 4 bullfinch, 1 pochard, numerous tufted duck, 2 nuthatch, 1 goosander, 1 siskin and 1 reed bunting.



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Seven Hawfinch around the area of the old hall at lunch time today.



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pete berry wrote:

At least 6 Hawfinch at lunchtime,showing well perched up in the bare trees and feeding in the adjacent Yew Trees.


 Pete I have sent you a PM.



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At least 6 Hawfinch at lunchtime,showing well perched up in the bare trees and feeding in the adjacent Yew Trees.

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Budworth Mere count this morning. The bridge over Forge Brook is no more, so had scope the eastern end of the Mere as best as possible from other areas.

Mute Swan (4)
Barnacle Goose (2)
Pink-footed Goose (1)
Greylag Goose (4)
Canada Goose (128)
Mallard (58)
Tufted Duck (27)
Goosander (7)
Teal (4)
Goldeneye (2)
Great-crested Grebe (7)
Moorhen (2)
Coot (136)
Grey Heron (5)
Cormorant (7)
Water Rail (1)
Curlew (27)

There was a good selection of species at the screen hide feeders including Reed Bunting, Coal Tit and Nuthatch. Sparrowhawk was seen whilst I was looking for Hawfinch. Whilst I drew a blank here, seven birds had earlier been seen in the usual Old Hall area.

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The 1st Winter drake Scaup was still present this afternoon amongst the Tufted Duck flock. Also seen, a minimum of six Goosander, two of which were males.

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Brief visit 14.45-16.00

In addition to Paul's sightings, 1 imm male Scaup with Tufted Ducks on Budworth Mere.

1 adult Great Black Backed Gull at Kid Brook. The Hawfinches had been seen in the morning, but then disappeared.

I left the Coward Reedbed Screen as the light faded and the weather turned nasty, there was no sign of the Bittern

or mass Starling gathering as I left, but devotees were still there, I hope they had more luck.



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A short afternoon visit provided Carys and I with a chance to see a few old pals before the rain brought a premature end to our birding day. Interesting species seen included a female Goldeneye and 8 Goosanders on Budworth Mere. A Raven over. Over 60 Curlew in Kid Brook Fields. 30 Redwings by Fishermans Path. A Treecreeper near the garden centre. A Reed Bunting at the Coward Reedbed Screen feeders and a Greenfinch near the Old Hall site.



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11:20 - 15:35

Goosander 4
Pochard 1
Curlew - at least 100 in field at NW end of mere
Kingfisher 2
Hawfinch - 3 well-spread sightings of singles in the Old Hall area. Thus 1 to 3 birds seen, including very good views of a perched bird preening and cleaning its bill on twigs.
Treecreeper 1

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13.30-15.30

2 Hawfinches showing well in NW corner of the park.

As in my previous visit the Hawfinches settled in a big Yew tree and gorged on berries.

5 Goldcrests were in the same Yew. 2 Siskins were on the mere side alders

Lots of activity at feeding station by the mere, but the only unusual sighting was a Field Vole.

Not much to report from the mere either as most of it was covered by a carpet of thick mist.

Thankfully Kid Brook was still visible and held 8 Lapwings and 16 Greylag Geese.

Amongst a mass of Canada Geese were 2 Barnacle Geese.

At dusk a large gathering of Redwings packed into the treetops of Big Wood, where 2 Treecreepers were also seen.

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Bittern showing well, mid morning, in the Coward reedbed, Water Rail screeching nearby. Single Hawfinch noted, usual area around the Old Hall ruins with four or five being seen later in the day. Very murky over the Mere, good numbers of Great Crested Grebe along with singles of Goosander and Goldeneye.

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Two separate, single sightings of Hawfinch adjacent to the Old Hall site this morning. Both birds flew straight through.

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2 separate Hawfinch sightings in between arboretum and mere late morning. Views were brief as birds did not settle long enough. also seen lots of birds around arboretum including: Jay Raven Sparrowhawks very active Chaffinches Goldcrests Greenfinches Great spotted woodpecker Bullfinches Nuthatchs Reed bunting Blue tits, Great tits

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12.15-15.00

Despite the drizzle the Hawfinch was showing well in the treetops near the garden centre/nursery.

Many thanks to the birder who advised me the Hawfinch had been seen around noon in this area.

I found the bird in the company of a couple of Redwings on top of a big beech tree alongside the path into the park from Marbury Road.

After moving around the tops of the nearby trees the Hawfinch settled on a large Yew tree, where it started feasting on the berries.

The Hawfinch appeared to have an affinity with the small groups of Redwing that also frequented to top of the big trees here.

Also seen nearby were 3 Goldcrests and a Sparrowhawk. A skein of 150+ Pink Footed Geese flew over heading West.

The weather cleared by 14.00, just in time to see 75 Curlew on the meadow at Kid Brook, where 50+ Greylags grazed amongst a mass of Canada Geese.

12 Wigeon, 2 female Goldeneyes and a single female Goosander were amongst the waterfowl on Budworth Mere.

There were noticeably lots of Great Crested Grebes on the mere, plus 2 Little Grebes, one of which appeared very anxious about the presence of a nearby Cormorant.

14 Common Gulls were with the flock of Black Headed Gulls by Kid Brook. 4 Treecreepers were with a roaming mixed tit flock in Big Wood.

What appeared to be the Curlew seen at Kid Brook were seen at 15.45 flying over Dairyhouse Meadow and appeared to settle by the canal at Marsden.

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13.00-15.30

80 Curlew and 46 Lapwings on the meadow by Kid Brook. 12 Great Crested Grebes on Budworth Mere.

Whilst a large mereside alder attracted a mixed flock of 8 Lesser Redpolls, 2 Siskins, and 8 Goldfinches plus a single Treecreeper.

No sign of any Hawfinches near the mereside screen, but the surrounding big trees held 12+ Redwings and a couple of Song Thrushes.

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Three of us had a bit of a wander around Cheshire today starting well here at 8.30 this morning. As we came through from the car park Karen spotted a Hawfinch fly in with Redwings to the double line of trees running East to West from the toilet block. The bird appeared to perch briefly then continued West along the southern line of trees. While we were still scanning it or another bird came into the top of the northern line from the West before heading off over the toilet blocks.

We did an anti-clockwise circuit through the parkland down to the bride over the canal and back along the shore of the Mere to the hide, finding all the commoner Thrushes bar Fieldfare among a good selection of the commoner woodland birds, together with a female Goldeneye on the Mere along with the usual water birds. There seemed to be Nuthatches everywhere. While stopping for some aptly-named 'awesome breakfast baps' and a cuppa 3 Siskin flew into the Yews behind us. Seemed like a good start so we headed off to Newchurch Common.....

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Enjoyable few hours spent around the arboretum area,yesterday 12:00 till 14:00.

Highlight being two Hawfinches , seen together atop one of the bare trees near the steps down to the mere hide,also a sighting of a single bird,loosely associating with a flock of Greenfinch.

Also seen 10 + Mistle Thrush , 40 + Redwings and numerous Goldcrests.

Also plenty of the usual Tits,Finches,Blackbirds etc.

Cheers Chris



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Two separate sightings of single Hawfinch around midday (T Davies, S Collins thanks), meanwhile 2m and 1f Goldeneye on the Mere amongst the Tufted Duck flock.

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1-4pm

1 hawfinch seen in tall trees next to the picnic benches & shelter opposite toilets & warden office at 1.20pm. very distant as I was stood near the top of the steps near the hide, but as went to get closer it disappeared & despite a good mooch around was never to be seen again.
lots of redwings, blackbirds, several song thrush & mistle thrush around
flock of 40+ fieldfare over
13 golden plover over
plenty of finches around also, greenfinch, goldfinch, chaffinch & 1 brambling at the feeding table near toilets.
lost count of the goldcrests
5 nuthatch
1 treecreeper
2 great spotted woodpecker
female sparrowhawk seen on a few occasions
1 buzzard
thousands of starlings going to roost.



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Two singles of the fairly elusive Hawfinch this morning in the open, grassy area adjacent to the arboretum. Earlier, four birds had been seen together. Nice to see Steve Judge who couldn't have timed his arrival any better! Rather poor record shots attached.

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One Hawfinch seen briefly in the trees near the hide overlooking the mere at the Aboretum this morning. 



-- Edited by Nev Wright on Sunday 5th of November 2017 01:52:23 PM

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Two Hawfinch seen briefly this morning at Marbury Arboretum. Picked up on call initially, then in flight as the birds flew into the tops of a large yew tree. In the time it took to get my camera out of my jacket pocket, they had flown off and despite doing several circuits of the area over the next hour and a half, I was unable to relocate them.

The ranger had apparently seen a bird in the area on Thursday. Thanks to Chris Hancock, who I bumped into yesterday, for the heads up.

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12.30-14.30

17 Great Crested Grebes (including 1 juvenile) on Budworth Mere.

8 Curlew and 70 Lapwings were alongside the mere at Kid Brook.

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Early Afternoon

Budworth Mere/Kid Broook

1 Kingfisher and 8 adult Great Crested Grebes.

60+ Lapwings were with a large group of Black Headed Gulls. No other gull species were present.

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Of note this morning around 8.30, Arctic Tern (2) and Common Sandpiper (1) at Kid Brook Spit, viewed from the slipway.

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Glad the Wood Sandpiper stayed a second day for those of us who had started tea and a glass of wine last night wink The bird is distant so you will need a scope, it can be picked up viewing from Fishermans Path or the Mereside Path and generally favour the shoreline to the right of Kid Brook as you look across the mere.



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The Wood Sandpiper (found yesterday afternoon by Greg Baker) was still present this morning on, or near to, Kid Brook Spit, viewed from the slipway.

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Hi Andy

Please see my pm to you - it's important. You'll realise why when you read it.

Cheers

Mark

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Hi Andy. Went with High Peak RSPB group on Sunday and had great views of at least 1 Garden Warbler. Best area was between the arch of the main car park and the main lake. An area of scrub at the far side of the grass was best. 

Also seen were 1 Little Gull, Black Tern, Common Sandpiper, 3 Common Swift, plus the usual species. 

Hope this helps. 



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Had three quarters of an hour on the Fisherman's Path this morning watching a single Arctic Tern move through. Three Black Tern had moved through earlier and at least one other Arctic Tern.

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Could someone please tell me here the garden warblers usually hang out please?

I have never visited Marbury CP, so local names for landmarks such as fisherman's path will mean nothing to me.

Many thanks

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AM
1 ad summer plumage Black Tern
1 juv Little Gull
at least 2 Garden Warblers

and about 200 fun runners

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Still two Yellow Wagtail in fields by Fisherman's Path together with a few Pied Wagtail early afternoon. Several Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler in song. Around five hundred Sand Martin over Budworth Mere with with small numbers of Swallow and House Martin.

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Fisherman's Path this evening produced 28 Pied Wagtail, 1 White Wagtail and 5 Yellow Wagtail. There was a Green Sandpiper yesterday early morning at Kid Brook Spit.

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Two yellow wagtails  again this morning in the same field. Chiffchaff, blackcap and willow warbler all singing in the scrub near the main road. Plenty of sand martins and a few swallows over the mere but I couldn't pick out any house martins.



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Monday 10th of April 2017 12:34:37 PM

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Four Yellow Wagtail this evening by Fisherman's Path, second field in from Marston side. With around ten Pied but no White.

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At least 3 Yellow Wagtails have been seen today, possibly four, but they were pretty mobile. They were easiest to catch up with in the fields next to Fisherman's Path next to the mere, possibly best accessed from the layby on the bend of the A559. I saw them late morning but just as I was about to take my first digiscoped dhot they were flushed by a dogwalker furious They did return as expected but much further out in the field. A few Pied Wagtails accompanied them. Lots of Sand Martins and several Swallows on Budworth Mere at the same time as I was watching the wagtails smile



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White Wagtail seen this morning on Kid Brook Spit, a Redshank yesterday. Also today many Chiffchaff and at least two singing Blackcap by the Mereside Path. Several Sand Martin put in an appearance late afternoon, otherwise just the 'normal' woodland birds in Big Wood and nothing of real note on the Mere.

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Two reports this morning from the Patch Grapevine:

Drake Mandarin Budworth Mere.

Sand Martin Budworth Mere



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Budworth Mere count - Walk from Coward Reedbed hide to end of Fisherman's Path, 9.40 to 11.50, weather fine but cool and blustery.

Mute Swan (2)
Canada Goose (2)
Greylag Goose (2)
Cormorant (8)
Heron (4)
Water Rail (1)
Moorhen (1)
Coot (54)
Great Crested Grebe (13)
Curlew (10)
Redshank (1)
Gadwall (1)
Goosander (5)
Goldeneye (4)
Teal (2)
Pochard (2)
Tufted Duck (32)
Mallard (53)
Kingfisher (1)

There was also a good assortment of species at the feeders including Reed Bunting, Long tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Nuthatch and Great Spotted Woodpecker.


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Still at least 4 female Goosanders on the mere this evening along with a lone female Goldeneye and a pair of Pochards. Watched a Cormorant catch and eventually devour a huge eel off the main reedbed, taking at least 10 minutes before it could swallow it. Only ever seen one catch an eel here before today.

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I am a regular walker walker in the northern part of Marbury Park and the alongside Budworth Mere. This is the start of the second year we have lived here thus not familiar with the history of the site other than that freely given by the regulars.

At the beginning of the winter the Mere showed great promise with a great variety of overwintering ducks, though the numbers were never great. The birds seen have included teal, pochard, widgeon, gadwall, gargany, tufted (a lot of these), shelduck and goldeneye. Only mallard and tufteds seen today. In some cases these were just one or two pairs. There is a large number of great crested grebes, estimated at 40+. I am intrigued by their colour variations. Coots, 100+. Very few moorhens. Up to 6 gooseander have been seen in recent weeks, though not seen today. Finally, one pair of swans whose youngsters disappeared early January.

There have been upwards of 150 Canada geese, about 20 greylags and the odd pinkfoot. These have nearly always clung to the north side of the mere or be seen grazing in the adjacent fields. In the early winter the geese would mix, but in the last six weeks or so they have stayed separated.

I first saw a bittern in December and soon picked up its habits. That is that it would show up in the half light about 20 minutes or so before it became too ark to see them. A good marker would be the start of the starling murmuration. From about the first week of January two were present (they may still be though most people seem to have seen only one at a time in recent weeks). On the first night we saw two, one was seen to grab and swallow a starling. We saw one this evening who surprised by becoming very visible by climbing up of the the remaining upright reeds. It then started doing what we assume was some sort of display as it was puffing out its feather, opening it's wings and alternating between squatting down and stretching upwards in the classic pose. We did not notice any booming, perhaps because of the noise of the wind in the trees.

There were some amazing starling murmurations in December and January, though having beaten down most of the reeds they seem to have moved on.

Waterside birds have included up to 50 curlew, a similar number of lapwing, occasional visits from a large number of golden plover. There have been groups of up to 6 oystercatcher., 5 egrets and amazingly over 20 herons about a fortnight ago. There were about 10 seen today. There are a pair of kingfishers that can regularly be seen from the hide and along the path to where the small bay where people like to feed the ducks. On our last two visits we have seen rails quite close.

Alongside the lake there are some really mature alder trees which seem to be a magnet for birds like treecreepers, nuthatch and woodpeckers. Other small birds seen today comprised about 6 long tailed tits (3 pairs), pair of goldcrests, otherwise it was the usual mix of garden birds. Early in the winter there were quite a few linnets but these have not been seen for some weeks.

A few blackcaps have been seen back from the mere. They seem to favour the hawthorn and elder bushes. Quite a few of the elders have been cleared as part of the woodland management.

Blackbirds and song thrushes are present in numbers. Mistle thrushes have been seen on the adjacent grassland. Fieldfares seem to have moved on, though there were still redwing seen last week. 

There are a couple of pairs of jays, several magpies, jackjaws 50+, carrion crows. No ravens seen or heard today, but have seen up to 5 together in the recent past. While the murmurations were taking place it was quite common to see sparrowhawks waiting in the trees before diving into the reeds to take a late meal.

Seabirds comprise a lot of black headed and a few herring gulls. Cormorants were plentiful earlier in the winter but seem to have moved on.  

There has been a lot of felling of mature trees around the area of the hide overlooking the lake, which is worrying as the purpose and reasons are not obvious. I would like to lobby for more tree management such as pollarding. This should preserve the mature trunks for feeding and nesting while keeping the tops healthy and less of a risk to those underneath. It will also satisfy the desire to use the chainsaw.

Other problems for the bird life is the massive squirrel population.

 

Notes.

Goldcrests seem to favour the yew and other evergreen trees.

Tufted (f) seen to catch a fish about 2" long, chew on it, drop it, catch it again, align it in her beak and swallow it.

5 tawny owls heard at same time but from different parts of the wood.

Very few finches seen this winter.

There is a great group of birdwatchers here. Ready to chat and swap notes.

 



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