We were quite confused when we saw this guy on the feeder. He looked like a sparrow, but he had chestnut coloured head and a white collar. He wasn’t quite big enough to be a sparrow either. Next I decided that he was a goldfinch, we do have a couple of goldfinches around. They are quite difficult to separate out as they tend to congregate with the sparrows and dunnocks and other small brown birds, not that goldfinches are a brown bird, but you have to catch sight of them from the right angle and in the right light to see them in all their glory. Then we managed to take a reasonable photo of our newcomer. Definitely not a goldfinch. Off to the RSPB bird identifier.
About the same size as a robin? Yes. This produced quite a long list! We started to click our way through. Linnet? No. White Throat? No. And so on, until almost at the last bird, we came to the tree sparrow. Although the drawing wasn’t overly like our photo, when we clicked on the tree sparrow’s home page, the picture there could have been the same bird we had in our photo.
They aren’t common these days. In fact they’ve managed to decline onto the RSPB’s Red List of birds that need a little extra TLC. We felt quite honoured to have them pottering round our garden.