Your birding questions answered and mystery photos identified
Q I would be most grateful if you could offer some advice on the ID of the bird I photographed at Spurn, in bright sunlight. My thoughts turned to juvenile Common Rosefinch, but I would be interested in your opinion. Martin Smith A You are right in your initial impression that this bird is a finch, and we can see why you have thought of the notoriously plain juvenile Common Rosefinch (the ‘grotfinch’ of legend). However, you are slightly wide of the mark, and we think you have failed to rule out the more obvious common alternative. This bird is another infamously ‘drab’ bird, the female or first-winter Linnet (also a finch). Note the slight contrast between the plain grey head (where you can just see the split pale eye-ring) and the streaked brown back. Note also the blackish wings and tail with prominent pale fringing and what appears to be some white outer tail feathering. The bill, though classically finch-like, is also a bit thin for very blunt rosefinch bill.