Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)

This very bright and attractive bird is a wonderful sight at any time of the year. Many of the photographs here were taken in the Autumn at Loch Tay in Scotland. The birds had found a favourite feeding ground of berries. They usually eat buds and shoots (making them unpopular with orchards and farmers) as well as fruits and seeds. The young birds will eat invertebrates. The female is a pale pink while the male is often seen as a bright unmistakable flash of red and white.

They usually nest in woods thickets and hedges, and in the winter have been known to visit garden feeders. The 3 - 6 eggs hatch after 12 days.

The pictures here were taken using a tripod with a manfrotto 393 Gimbal type head. The birds were not very timid as they were more interested in getting their fill of bright red berries. The D2xs is a great camera but the maximum usable iso is 400, so these pictures were taken at shutter speeds of 1/500 and f stops of 5.6 - 8; the depth of field does suffer. The most important part is to get the images sharp so the shutter speed had a greater priority than the F stop.