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I’ve been holding off sharing any photos of these magnificent birds, hoping I would see them again and get closer views but I fear that’s not to be as sightings, for all the local birders who’ve spent many an hour standing and staring at likely trees, have been very random. These are Hawfinches (Coccothraustes coccothraustes), Britain’s largest finches. As they are a rare, red-listed species, we have been very fortunate indeed over the last several years to have a few birds visiting Cosmeston Lakes Country Park during the winter months. I had my first sighting this year, of a single bird, on 6 January, and then these three popped up in front of me on 30 January. Fingers crossed I will see them again before they head off to breed.

230211 hawfinch