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Rambling Bramblings

Million-strong finch flock invades eastern Slovenia

For the past three weeks a huge flock of around one million Bramblings Fringilla montifringilla has taken up residence near the village of Planina in eastern Slovenia. Local residents have been shocked by the unprecedented numbers of birds involved and many contacted DOPPS (BirdLife in Slovenia) to inform them about a large flock of birds gathering to roost every evening in the same location ? completely filling all the large trees in the area.

DOPPS ornithologists visited the site and confirmed the scale of the invasion ? much bigger than anything previously observed in the country. Bramblings are regularly observed in Slovenia during winter, but in much smaller numbers. It is likely that the birds have stopped in the area because they have found a good supply of their main winter food, beech nuts, in nearby forests. It is expected that the flock will move on or disperse when the first snow covers the ground.

Elsewhere unusual numbers of other northern European finches, including Pine Grosbeaks and northern race Bullfinches, have been observed further south in Scandinavia than usual.

4th July 2014