Loads of Goldfinch in the garden. This one is a young bird in it's first winter. The head hasn't moulted through into solid black yet. Quite interesting that it appears to be mostly first winter birds on the feeder. Yesterday we did have a Siskin but today no sign. The Blackcap male was with us this morning but the weather and light is too dreary for any worthwhile photography. A really good look at the apple tree revealed: Chaffinches, Goldfinches, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Dunnocks ....... 5 species.
A normal day in the life of my garden today, or though it seemed. Goldfinches are by far the most regular callers to the bird feeders and Chaffinches are observers from the sidelines without the skill to perch and feed from them. Having said that there is always quite a scattering of sunflower hearts on the ground beneath. Therefore it is baffling to see the Chaffinches flying and grabbing a seed "in-flight" with considerable effort when the obvious thing to do would be to settle and feed from the ground only a few feet beneath? I had noticed a Siskin in the tree and taken up a position in the hide hoping that I might get some better shots of this species. One settled on the Niger feeder for just a second, no longer and was then gone! So 3 Siskins in 24 years!T he same occurred with Long-tailed tits. I am wondering if my cover is blown so to speak!
I am trying really hard to get as close to the Blackcap as I can. This morning he was right in front of my top hide but unfortunately my tripod was set up in the bottom one so from the bathroom again I took these shots. The light was again a bit dull but I am sure over the next few days I am going to get a photo where it all comes together, light, pose and me being in the right place at the right time. At least I know that he is not disturbed by the closeness of the hide. Still no sign of our female, I suspect she has moved on because even though the male had been absent for a few days he was probably here all the time.
This is a different bird then yesterdays goldfinch, you can tell by the grey flicking on the head
Late morning I managed to get closer to the this bird, not quite in focus but getting there.
We havn't had a Godfinch in the garden for several weeks and there has been no sign of them either. Even if they don't settle n the garden they are quite easy to identify in flight because they have a very distinctive twitter which is uttered constantly so you can allows be sure if and when they are in your vicinity.
I sat up in the top hide today but I am having a bit of trouble with a neighbouring cat which to be honest is driving me mad. I don't get on with cats at all and to be sitting freezing in a hide in MY garden minding MY own business and having all my pleasure ruined by my neighbours cat is annoying to say the least. It wears a bell so I don't think it is a very successful predator but never the less the birds scatter for the hills when it is about. My battle goes on with this cat! So back to birds. A frosty morning with fog is what greeted us this morning and oddly the local Jackdaws actually came in to the garden under the cover of the fog. I tried to get a photo but not very successfully. They are a clever bird and my favourite crow species. As soon as he got wind that I was about, off he went.
So back to the Goldfinch. For some odd reason I went down into my shed and set the camera up on to the feeder by the door. I was just about to call it a day as there had been no sign of anything. Then as if by magic, and yes it is allows magical when something appears on a feeder, there it was a gorgeous Goldfinch. One of my friends commented to me the other day that we don't get colourful exotic looking birds in the UK....... well Jan, where have you been looking? Just look at this absolutely gorgeous bird. I remember in a "bird dealers" establishment in Florida chatting to the owner and he was talking of European Goldfinch as if they were some kind of exotic species and I suppose if you are from a country where they are not present you would be pretty impressed. Well I hope you agree!