Forty years ago I saw a Brambling for the first time and noted it down in my childhood nature notebooks:
Fringilla montifringilla. What a great name. I haven’t seen one again since 1977. I’ve been busy being a teenager and then a dad. I’m not complaining.
I’m delighted that after all this time there are Bramblings foraging on the ground under the feeders at Lago di Alviano in Italy.
I’m shocked at what they look like. That yellow beak! Those orange legs! That orange and black plumage. What a fabulous bird.
We are also treated to a male with his black head:
‘Like female Chaffinch’, I wrote forty years ago. I definitely wouldn’t write that again. There’s a female Chaffinch feeding with them. They share body shape and size but that’s about it:
I can’t wait to see them again.