April 5, 2015


Yesterday, we went to dinner at the cousin-in-law´s place, out in the country and quite a ways inland, where there is still full winter. I had the camera along, but of course had chosen the wrong lens for photographing birds; they have a bird-feeder outside the kitchen window and what a great twitching opportunity! Only the great tits (talgoxe) are plentiful where we live, more rare are the bullfinches (domherre, which is the archetypal Christmas bird), the willow-tits (talltita), and the snow buntings (snösparv). There was even, I think, a greenfinch (grönfink), though very far off. Also, twilight was falling pretty fast. Luckily, I can tweek quite a bit with this camera, but see in the dark it can not.

Bullfinch and great tit.

How can you tell a willow-tit from a marsh-tit (entita)? According to my bird-book, they are almost identical exept for the song- apparently the marsh-tit sounds like he is sneezing while the willow-tit sounds like a tease. The best clue, however, is where you are: pine-forest: willow-tit; deciduous forest: marsh-tit.

Two male bullfinches having a row.

A female bullfich trying to find a seat.

Snow buntings - in the snow.

The very distant greenfinch.


  1. I'd never heard of a bullfinch before. What great color!

    1. Here, the bullfinch is a classic ingredient to a successfull Christmas card. A very popular bird. I could watch them all day...


    2. I ee what you mean. It must be the bright color. Here I see a lot of cardinals on Christmas cards. The white snow with that splash of red makes a striking image: https://www.google.com/search?q=cardinal+christmas+card&biw=1366&bih=653&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=74wiVd-wD4nNoASsh4GoCg&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAg

      I looked to see if we might have a Bullfinch relation here, but I found nothing.

    3. Yes, it´s the bright Santa colour, I´m sure. Those cardinals are very handsome, very exotic to my eyes. The bullfinch is apparently also called the Eurasian bullfinch, so I guess they don´t live in America. There seem to be several more versions of the spieces towards South-East Asia.

    4. The Wikipedia article called them "old world" birds. There are "bullfinches" as close as Puerto Rico, but they're unrelated and only called that because they were thought to resemble the originals. They are very pretty, and it'd be sweet to have those at a feeder :) Most of our birds are sparrows and not very colorful.

    5. I am partial to the sparrows, though. They are lively and fun to watch, but overlooked, I think, because they are everywhere. We mostly have great tits, the most resilient of birds. They sing all winter, too. For me, spring is the first time I hear the chaffinch; soon, I hope!