The UK has been experiencing a huge influx of hawfinches over the last week. We have searched for them locally but failed miserably so when 60+ hawfinches came on our pager at the Yorkshire Arboretum at Castle Howard we just had to go and look. The car park was absolutely rammed to the gills but we eventually found a spare bit of grass to abandon our car on. The hawfinches were in the Hornbeam trees that were on the boundary of the Yorkshire Arboretum at Castle Howard. It was a staggering £7 each admission.....yes £7 each you read that correctly - and we didn't even want to look at any trees, plus most of them were now minus leaves !! £7 each - I will never get over that! So, I parted with £14, and if you know me well, you will know that that didn't impress me a great deal. But we soon saw one, then two, then four, six, ten flew over, then 15 flew. We had birds almost all day but no-where near the 60 that had been reported the previous day. We thought between 20 and 30 birds. We didn't get the spectacle of a tree full either which was a disappointment. Photography was virtually impossible as the sun was straight infront of us all day, so these are the best we could manage in blaring sunlight. And the birds favoured the backs of the trees in the warmth of the sun, so although we knew birds were in the trees feeding, seeing them straight into the sun with a million twigs and leaves was exceptionally hard work. There was a massive crowd to see the birds, plenty of those new 'birdwatchers' that have just arrived, you know - the ones with a full Canon setup and no binoculars, so they spent the day running up and down the wall side as they couldn't see the birds. It must have been a right good earner for the Yorkshire Arboretum......and not one single tree was looked at as the birds were all in trees that were just outside the boundary wall ! Still, good birds in good numbers, can't complain.....that is until I think of the £14 !