Thursday, 22 February 2018

The Hawfinches of Godmersham

With a wow factor akin to Waxwings, it's not too surprising that the influx into the U.K of Hawfinches has draw a lot of attention. The Yew trees around the church at Godmersham, a small village along the A 28 between Chilham and Ashford has attracted a small flock and I have made three visits over the past couple of weeks, to try and get a few images of these highly photogenic birds. They are very addictive to watch and remind me of Waxwings in their mannerism's but getting images was a little tricky due to their skittish behaviour and the shadows cast by the fact that they liked to bury themselves deep in the foliage of the Yews. On one occasion I was lucky enough to get a bird out in the open on top of a small Yew tree.

I wanted to try a 2x converter that I had recently purchased and although not a fan of the 2x, (always look a bit soft to me) on the 500mm with a full framed camera it gives you that extra reach to get a more than decent record shot if the bird is a log way off. The Hawfinch below was quite a distance away and if that was a mega rarity, then the resulting image would be pretty pleasing. (To me anyway)

The better images were for me taken when the birds were buried in the foliage. 

As mentioned above, the Hawfinches were very skittish and would often fly off and disappear for an hour or so before returning. There were plenty of other birds to see and over my three visits I noted 3 Common Buzzards and a Sparrow-Hawk overhead 5 Great-Spotted Woodpeckers chasing each other around in a large tree, Coal, Long-tailed, Blue and Great Tits, Green Gold and Chaffinch a plenty, Nuthatch and several Goldcrest's that drew my attention when the Hawfinches were playing hard to get.

The Hawfinches will soon be gone, if you have not seen them yet, then they are worth a look.