A Hunch

Hi, I was at the back of Billinge hill again last weekend near the gorse. I had my camera taking a few shots of willow warblers/ chiffchaffs. Suddenly a pair of birds flew from the beacons direction into the gorse. It was only very fleeting and they were soon gone. Because they were silhouetted against the morning sky I couldn't get a proper id. They had thick bills and made a cackling/chuckling noise, its hard to describe it really and that's the best I can do. My immediate thought was hawfinch but its just a hunch as ive never actually seen one. Can anyone take a guess on  my limited description? Have hawfinches ever been spotted around here?


  1. have had crossbill fly over before ,looks similar into the sun .ive never seen hawfinches in Merseyside before but that means nothing. try listening to a few calls on the internet you might pick it out. good luck
    neil gordon

    1. Thanks Neil, going off the sound recording on the rspb website the calls did sound like Crossbills.

  2. Hi Andrew, my guess wouldve been crossbill too but if the light was bad can you rule out greenfinch or yellowhammer as these have both done me in the past!
    Interestingly though Hawfinch have occured and Billinge Hill before and bred in the past too I believe .... eyes peeled then!

    Paul B