Bird #520 — Common Chaffinch

fringilla (finch) coelebs (origin unknown)

Tuesday, April 18, 2019 — 5:56 pm

Böblingen, Germany — Alter Friedhof (Old Cemetery)

Our daughter made it her goal for the day to keep us awake until bedtime. This obviously wasn’t going to happen if we just sat around her apartment. So she took my wife to the PX and shooed me off to a cemetery about a mile down the road.

This was an odd experience because everyone there was German and I was the only birder. I acted as respectfully as I knew how and minded my own business. Apart from some weird stares, there were no incidents.

I’d just entered the cemetery when I heard a bird singing an incessant song in a large tree. It allowed close approach, and I soon identified it as a Chaffinch. It was a medium-sized finch, with warm pinkish and gray plumage and black and white wings.

About 20 yards away, I spotted a female on a tombstone.

Chaffinches are one of the more common birds in Europe. My experience backs this up. I saw them pretty much everywhere I went, including Murren, Switzerland and the WWI battlefield we visited in France.

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