Bird's Eye View of Bute

The Bullfinch

(1) Male  Bullfinch
(1) Male Bullfinch
(2) Male Bullfinch
(2) Male Bullfinch
The Bullfinch. It has long been said that if you wait long enough you will eventually find that you have been looking for , well it has taken me over thirteen years to get a decent image of the elusive bird called the Bullfinch, both male and female. I say a decent image, that only means that I have got some before now, but these birds are very shy and elusive. They mainly stay in the middle of bushes and can be seen but very rarely filmed to my satisfaction as my cameras seem to focus on the surrounding foliage, making for blurred images, or they are too far away , which is just as bad. Well I have finally got a couple of good shots of the Male, which is the more colourful of the pair. I was doing one of my long walks.( nowadays all my walks are long, even though they may be only couple of miles). This one starts at the Kingarth and Kilchattan War Memorial. So, bus out to there and wander down the road a bit to the entrance to what used to be called Drumreoch Farm, now just a steading for calf’s and feedstuffs for them. Head to these sheds then onward to the junction with the 'West Island Way', (Should have been called the 'Isle of Bute Way') and carry on till you reach Lord James' Ride, then upward till your reach the top, then it is coffee and biscuits, and a rest. Carry on this path till it joins the Scoulag Moor track, head onwards and homewards till I reach the bird hide at the south end of Loch Ascog, then it is time for the rest of my coffee and biscuits. ( I only carry four digestive and a small flask). When enjoying my repast with one of the viewing flaps open, watching Blue Tits foraging about for caterpillars etc, when appeared what you see now isa male Bullfinch, but as the flap was wide open, I was spotted , not by the Tits as they carry on ignoring humans, but by the Bullfinch female, who made for the off, leaving the male to wonder why she left, then he spotted myself, and just before he joined her I got a couple of good shots, so I was elated to say the least. All those years waiting was finally over. They are lovely birds to see with the male being the finest, as most male birds are. It has a rosy-pink face and breast, the colour unlike that of any other British bird; also shows black cap and blue-grey back. Female similar but with duller colours. Both sexes have characteristic white rump, seen as bird flies away. Found in woodland scrub, hedgerows and mature gardens. Used stubby bill to feed on insects, seeds and berries; in spring; visits orchards to eat flower buds of fruit trees, which the owners of orchards will not welcome them? I disagree with my book saying that the male has a 'Rosy- pink face and breast'. A lot of it's face is black, and a black cap should only cover the skull, as in the other bird called a Blackcap. Norrie Mulholland.
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