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Posted by Jeff Butcher 
November 19, 2004 05:07PM
I see that Birdcall is reporting hawfinch at Woodwell again today.

Can anyone tell me:
are they regulars - do they pass through or roost everyday
do they appear at a regular time (I have known a site in Herts where they turn up on the dot of 2.40 every afternoon through the winter and then move on to a roost site)
is there a best place to see them at Woodwell - by the pool or somewhere else?

Thank you

Jeff Butcher
Jon Carter
Re: Hawfinch
November 19, 2004 05:50PM
Well Jeff, this is a tough one to answer as I don't believe any local birders ever really guarantee seeing them in any one spot or time of day.
They also seem to have declined in recent years - though Woodwell does still turn them up with frequency. Only problem is they appear to be pretty eratic in their occurence, so it's a bit of a suck it and see situation. Sometimes you really need to put the hours in before any success!
Re: Hawfinch
November 19, 2004 07:06PM
Thanks Jon I have been three times so far in the last few weeks - early morning, mid afternoon, late afternoon - hung round the pool, walked up the cliff path and through the wood - always something worth watching but no hawfinches. As I said, near where I used to live, we had a a regular winter spot where you could set your watch by them.
I'll keep trying - along with the spotted redshank and rock pipit!!

Re: Hawfinch
November 19, 2004 08:39PM
There was a single Hawfinch present this Morning in the Hornbeams to the left just before "Fir Trees" They are very erratic at this site and this is the first time I've been lucky this year! I have visited the Lythe valley site several times recently but had no sitings. The Silverdale Birds have been seen at several sites in the area including the Nursing Home nearby and Gaitbarrows. (Wherever there is plenty of food)!
Stephen Dunstan
Re: Hawfinch
November 19, 2004 09:11PM
Sizergh Castle car park may be a good option if you want LBWS rather than Lancs sightings. There were several there earlier in the year.

Re: Hawfinch
November 19, 2004 11:21PM
Most recent sightings of Hawfinch seem to be along the entrance road to Woodwell. Therefore it is best to park on the main road and walk up, listening for ticking noises which sound like a cross between Song Thrush and Grey Wagtail, 'nearer' the former.

A top-notch birder lives at the Lyth valley site and the road is an access road for residents, albeit continuing as a public footpath. However, they have not been seen in this area for several months so that should solve any problems re-access!
Re: Hawfinch Thursday morning
November 25, 2004 01:58PM
Woodwell: 11 a.m. At last, 4 hawfinches at the regular spot on Woodwell Lane. Also marsh, coal and great tits. Heard 2 buzzards calling as well.

Thank you to everyone, here and privately, who suggested the spot and gave detailed advice.

Nearly missed them this morning as there were about 15 people at the watching spot, all talking very loudly (I could hear them when I left my car on Lindeth Rd), two cars parked close to the spot, blocking the lane, slamming car doors when they were leaving. I was told that I had missed the hawfinches because a dog going by had disturbed them. I don't like dogs, but I thought it a bit unfair in view of all the noise. Later the birders not in the two cars on the lane went down to the car park and drove off in their two cars causing more disturbance. It would be good if all birders visiting this spot could leave cars down on Lindeth Rd - ample parking - and walk quietly up the lane to the crest where the hornbeams are.

In the end, after a quiet wait, the four of us left (and a very quiet dog) saw the return of 4 hawfinches out of the "dozen" which had been seen earlier.

Jeny Brown's Point quiet at high tide - 8 great crested grebes, 3 goldeneye, 7 wigeon flying by along with gulls and curlews.

Jeff Butcher
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