The Chaffinch is a common, sparrow-sized finch of gardens, woodland, parks and farmland. they can regularly be spotted in woodland car parks where they home in on picnickers looking for an easy meal.

Leg lesions, commonly known as ‘scaly leg’ or ‘tassel foot’, are growths on the legs and feet seen in finches across Europe. Leg lesions in Chaffinches are one of the most frequently observed signs of ill health in British garden birds. It is said to be caused by both a mite and viral infection that cause leg lesions and is thought to be transmitted by contact. Most affected birds continue to live normally.¬†Although birds with severe lesions can become lame so are increasingly vulnerable to predation.

The male Chaffinch is a colourful garden bird with a blue-grey crown, brown back and pink breast. Females are pale brown and have white shoulder patches and wing bars.


The above pictures show healthy Chaffinches below are some with scaly leg.

Blue Tit.

A recognisable garden visitor and a woodland bird. It is estimated that some 15 million birds winter in the UK. They often nest in garden bird boxes.


Length: 12cm
Wingspan: 18cm
Weight: 11g
Average lifespan: 3 years