Last year, or maybe the year before, I was telling you all about the Scandinavian Chaffinch. In the north, the male and female birds flock together for most of the year, but as soon as the weather starts to deteriorate, in late autumn, the females pack their bags and head off to the south, back to their mothers, no doubt.
The males stay in the north and just hang out, telling each other how many beers they drank last night and how they had to chop through the ice when they came out of the sauna and how much thicker it was than than the ice they chopped through yesterday. They lounge around talking about motor bikes and car engines and all the other stuff they haven’t been allowed to talk about while their wives were here.
Yesterday we were on our way home, stretching our legs up the hill from the bridge to our lane. Here honesty requires me to admit that, somehow or other, we usually manage to find a reason to stop, now and again, during the journey.
One such pause, for instance, occurred when I stopped to take a picture of a chaffinch about twenty yards farther on up the road – just sitting there. As I aimed the camera, this guy popped out of his section of the hedge and flitted to the road not ten feet away from us.
The males are very territorial – and this extends to photo opportunities, apparently.