The flu seems to be receding a little. I managed a trip out to the shops and replenished my stocks of bird seed for the garden feeders. The goldfinches will be happy for a while with this nyjer seed! Here’s a picture of a goldfinch from a few days ago, when it was snowing:
I’ve also heard that goldfinches like sunflower hearts, so I thought I’d try some of that too. Within minutes, they attracted a siskin. The photos aren’t amazing, but I thought I’d include them anyway as I like the patterns on its feathers so much.
Some more from a few days ago:
I’ve seen very few goldfinches in the garden; even then, they didn’t stick around for long. Just occasionally I’d hear an unfamiliar song, then look up and notice one on a chimney stack, or catch a brief flash of red and yellow as a pair took off from their precarious perch on last year’s Rudbeckias. In fact, I’ve never seen many of them, although I remember seeing a group (or charm) feasting on some thistle seeds by the dusty road I lived on when I was a child.
Last year, I bought a packet of Nyjer (Guizotia abyssinica) seed and a special bird feeder, hoping to attract some of these attractive little birds. Nothing happened. A couple of investigative visits from long-tailed tits, but they didn’t seem to find it very inspiring. This spring, though, two goldfinches started visiting regularly, always after I left for work, of course! But this morning I managed to take a quick shot of them (through the window, so not top quality).
With luck, they will become regular visitors, and possibly even nest nearby.