This autumn, there has been lots of sightings of hawfinches, a large but uncommon finch. They are actually more closely related to grosbeaks. There are only 1000 breeding pairs in the UK. They are quite numerous in Wales, and there’s a few in the New Forest, Wye Valley, Forest of Dean and Cumbria. There have even been a few sightings at Carsington Water where we sometimes go to watch birds. They have an extremely powerful beak, and are brown, ginger and have dark blue feathers on their wings. Their beaks are powerful enough to crush cherry stones, and their range is restricted to large stretches of mature woodland. RSPB researches are radio-tagging 20 female hawfinches every year in the Wye Valley and North Wales.