It has been a fantastic winter to enjoy the beautiful Hawfinch in the UK with significantly higher numbers arriving here last autumn than in recent years. By the end of October Birdtrack’s reporting rates for Britain as a whole were more than 12 times the historical average, and here in Herts birds have been reported from across most of the county with sizeable flocks at several locations. Compare that to recent winters in Herts where reports were mostly limited to small groups from a handful of regular haunts.

Not for many years has it been such a good time to get out and look for this striking and normally elusive finch.

Writer and Herts birder Rupert Evershed shares his experiences of finding Hawfinch in Hertfordshire this winter in his monthly ‘Noting Nature’ column.

Hawfinch photo by Alan Reynolds.