posted 31 Dec 2013, 15:20 by Andy Birder   [ updated 1 Jan 2014, 03:48 ]
I always see or hear Bullfinches when walking the outskirts of the village here in Northrepps, a few years ago we were lucky to be graced with Northern Bullies (here)  I have managed several recordings of our Bullfinches over the past 3 winters and they all have the same sound and 'shape'.  Over Christmas I managed a particularly clear recording of a group of birds that I was able to approach quite closely.

Sonogram. Bullfinch Northrepps.  A couple of notes showing the inflection of the call rather than a smooth, pure whistle that we can often mimic.

Having received the excellent 'The Sound Approach to Birding' for Christmas, I was interested to see in the section for Bullfinch calls some notes on 'Continental' europea Bullfinch. These calls appear to be consistent with all my recordings of Bullfinch from the village during the winter, with none of mine showing the pure 'whistle' tones (or shapes) noted for British Bullfinch.  The Norfolk Bird Report notes that europea 'may occur' and I would be very surprised if it didn't. 
 We know that all birds have a range of calls, but could it be that our birds are more likely to be continental immigrants, rather than consistently coming across 'British' birds that have non-sub-species specific calls?

Bullfinch Northrepps.

Hear the recording here

Along with these calls I also heard a good candidate for a Northern Bullfinch giving the 'trumpet' like call, although the quality is not so good, the 'nasal' sound is shown by the 'notes' being stacked.

Bullfinch, possibly Northern, Northrepps.  Not a great recording but the beginning of the sonogram shows the 'notes' being stacked which gives the nasal, buzzy tone which is attributed to the 'trumpet' call of Northern.

A link to the call here