Until today I had never seen a bullfinch and was previously a little bit frightened of them. 'Bull' is normally attached to things that are a little scary (bullsnakes, bulltoads, bulls...). Most gardening books tell you to cover your fruit trees in metres of netting so that bullfinches don't devastate your trees by tearing the buds from your manicured branches with their savage, bare beaks. I was honestly expecting something a little less lovely, a little more... bullish.
I didn't net my fruit trees this year because I'm hoping that my persistent feeding of the birds means that they will take the fatty, seedy goods on offer in the feeders and will stay away from much trickier fruit buds. We have far too much fruit for us to collect and eat anyway so a few damaged buds here and there won't hurt.
The bullfinches are surprisingly not interested in either my store-bought bird food or my fruit trees. They have decided that the most delicious treat in the world is the seeds of forget me nots (myosotis).
I normally pull up the forget me nots once they have finished because, while I do love the blue carpeted splendour they create at the front of the border in spring, they do have a tendency to spread everywhere. However, if growing more forget me nots will save my fruit trees, that is what I'll do.