Bullfinches are exceptionally beautiful. They are also elusive. It’s a pleasure when I see a pair at Yarner Woods on Dartmoor:
I’ve just been looking at an illustration of Bullfinches. It’s sixty years since Charles Tunnicliffe’s Bird Portraits was published. The concept of getting a free card with a picture on it in your packet of loose-leaf tea, and buying an album to collect them and stick them in, may seem quite strange now. Here’s the book, originally from from 1957:
Charles Tunnicliffe’s illustration captures them perfectly: they have such a strong beak, a distinctive black head and colour coordinated feet. The detail in their plumage is wonderful.
As ever, he got the stance just right:
The female is more camouflaged while the male is certainly not:
They are a perfect pair of bookends.
There's a female Stonechat, Saxicola torquata, on Trendlebere Down on Dartmoor. It's flying to the highest perch in this low scrubland. It's on ... Read more