We currently have a very good opportunity to catch up with this shy & elusive finch during this current nationwide influx.
We have had birds heading into the County from the back end of October / early November with a unprecedented 75 birds moving West & South West over the Whitburn/Marsden area on Oct 26th (D.Foster / P.Cook). Other observers picked up on 1-3 birds at Quarry Lane, Doxy Park & Business Park that same day. The following day, half a dozen were in the Wear Valley at WWT
& 4 West over the Generals Wood nearby. There have also been a small number of reports from the Wynyard area.
Croxdale Estate is perhaps the best known site - it regularly held birds up to early 2006, with up to 9 being noted that year but petered out since then with last being noted there in 2009 - so a long gap at was previously a breeding locality. Site max here is 14 birds in the 90's.
This seasons sightings of 1 - 8 birds on Croxdale Estate.
General map of Croxdale, just off A167 between Durham City & Spennymoor.
Where else ?
Michael Francis informs us that BWP lists 57 tree genera that Hawfinches eat & they like high diversity in their diet, not sticking to any one food, so it comes as no surprise that botanical gardens and arboreta have always been the best places in Britain to see them, as they have the tree diversity they need.
Perhaps the arboreta at Houghall College & Botanic Gardens just up the 167 from Croxdale are worth a try ?
This map shows the x2 tree collections at Durham City - The Botanic Gardens & Houghall College.
Or how about :-
The Gateshead Borough - very well wooded, & previously Hawfinch haunts have included Chopwell, Victoria Garesfield, Highfield, Ryton Willows, Axwell Park, Strother Hills & Rowlands Gill.
You wont know if you don't go....
Find out more about UKs Hawfinches on this superb Twitter account :-