A trip to West Kirbest results in a beautiful view of this male Linnet in full breeding plumage:
It’s a farmland bird.
The combination of grey, chestnut and red is beautiful. Here’s what Outline of Nature from 1935 has to say:
“The appearance of the linnet is as distinctive as its song, and in breeding dress the cock bird is, indeed, most handsome. The back is chestnut, warmer than that of the yellow-hammer, and the underparts are shaded from warm yellow-brown under the tail to white on the belly. The breast is warm, bright crimson, and the same colour draws attention to the forehead and the crown of the head. The lead-blue of the beak is in sharp contrast to this, as also are the white, brown-speckled chin and throat. The rest of the head is grey-brown, and the wing and tail feathers are darker brown, edged with white.”
It’s a thrill to see it.