Sizergh's elusive hawfinch

Male hawfinch at Sizergh
See if you can spot Sizergh's elusive hawfinch John Hannah

Here are some key tips for finding hawfinch. Apart from patience, you'll also need keen eyes and ears and a bit of prior knowledge...

Firstly it's important to know that hawfinches prefer to ‘hang out’ in the tops of trees. So make sure you scan the tops for a large finch on your visit.

They have a characteristic ‘tick’ call (which to some sounds like a fizzy drink can opening). This is the first sign of their presence. Hawfinches can easily be muffled out in a woodland setting with other birds such as robins and song thrush which also have a very similar call. If you hang around in the car park they can be heard with relative ease.

Planning your visit

The best times to connect with these birds are between first light and 11am. The best months to visit are late January, February and particularly good months are March and April.

Given that the hawfinches spend most of their time in the tops of trees they tend to disappear from view from May onwards when leaves are plentiful and they are shielded from the gaze of lurking birdwatchers.

While you are in the area you might also like to try one of Sizergh’s homemade flapjacks from the café and a cup of hot chocolate - yum.

Who knows, you may even spot a hawfinch from inside.

If you'd like more info or would like us to contact you with our birdwatching events please email us.