Birds of Exminster - The Brambling

Articles - Birds of Exminster

All the way from Scandinavia!

We are familiar with birds visiting us during the summer such as the Swallow, the House Martin, the Cuckoo and many more, most of which spend the winter in Africa. But what about those birds who live to the north of us in Scandinavia and Western Siberia? Well some of them come to visit us in the British Isles during the winter when they move south away from the very harsh conditions at their breeding grounds.

One such bird that visits us each winter from Scandinavia is the Brambling (Scientific name, Fringilla montifringilla) a member of the finch family and as the winter progresses it is increasingly possible to see them in our gardens in Exminster, especially if the weather is particularly cold. They can form large flocks outside the breeding season in some winters, especially if there is a good supply of beech nuts.



The Brambling is similar in size and shape to a Chaffinch and sometimes they mix together in flocks. Unfortunately we do not normally see them in full breeding plumage when the male has a distinctive black head, dark upperparts and an orange breast. However, as our photographs hopefully show, Bramblings are still quite distinctive here in Britain during the winter with orange chest colours extending over the shoulders.

If you feed birds, and we hope you do, you may have the pleasure of spotting a Brambling amongst other finches over the coming months. (Please make sure you do not expose the birds unnecessarily to danger from cats ? strategic placing of bird feeders is very important!). Our two photos were taken here in Exminster in February 2008.
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