Wildlife advent calendar: Day 4: Brambling
This is one of my favourite winter birds due to its extremely bright and beautiful plumage. Over winter they are often found among flocks of chaffinches, their southern cousins, and it can sometimes be hard to tell the species apart at a distance as they are a very similar size and shape. They form large flocks in winter, often reaching into the thousands and even millions if there is a high abundance of beechmast in the area.
Bramblings are migratory birds flying from Scandinavia and Russia to the UK around September time and returning again in the warmer spring season (March-May) ready to breed. During Autumn and winter food is scare in the Northern regions so this Southern migration is essential for their survival.
So keep an eye out for these brightly coloured birds this winter in beech woodland, farmland, or even in your garden. It is definitely a species not to be missed!
Image taken from Flickr user Kev Chapman