Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Goldfinches are Charming

I spent the weekend at my parents' house near Bolton. This is the garden bird feeder which was a Golden Wedding gift to them and which appropriately enough attracts a lot of goldfinches. These are European goldfinches, very different from the American goldfinches which a lot of readers will be more familiar with. Click on the photo to see more detail of these lovely birds. A group of goldfinches is known as a charm and they are indeed charming birds. The bigger bird on the feeder is a starling. While I was there the garden also had: a group of long tailed tits, robins, blackbirds, a song thrush, collared doves, woodpigeons, magpies and a jay.

The train journey from Edinburgh to Bolton is lovely, passing through the hills of Lanarkshire and the English Lake District. I love bird watching from trains and saw several buzzards, a large skein of geese, swans that had started to swim on flooded fields and a small flock of lapwings. There were also a small number of deer and rabbits in some of the fields.

14 comments:

Annie said...

Beautiful birds, and a beautiful gift! Thank you for the photograph and the links.

Howard BME said...

You’re lucky with the goldfinches. They look so exotic that I sometimes find it hard to believe they’re a British bird. And welcome back to Embra!

Poetikat said...

Fabulous multi-shepherd's hook, CGP. They are lovely birds and I think "charm" is the perfect collective for them. We get loads of the American ones in our yard, in all seasons, so we see them in olive-shades and their resplendent yellows.

Who's the big fellow on the left?

Lucy said...

Funny, with the exception of a few chaffinches, our finches, who come in close in spring and summer, desert us for their flocks and the open fields in winter. The bird feeder attracts the tits, robins, dunnocks and sparrows, of course, while the big flocks of quarrelsome winter blackbirds, and quite a few thrushes, potter round the flower beds and hedges.

Did you hear about the German blackcaps which actually seem to be not only migrating differently but also physically evolving because of British birdfeeders?

Michael said...

Looks like a good set up there. A lot more cat-proof than my trees too.

fourwindshaiga said...

They are beautiful, and quite different from ours. I just saw them for the first time on one of my friend's blog from Wales.

Here is a new haiku site you might be interested in checking out.

http://haikubones.blogspot.com/

Annette F. Tait said...

what an appropriate Golden wedding gift! and filled with the golden finches themselves - what an absolute pleasure it must be to watch them!
though I do love Starlings too

Jenn Jilks said...

They are lovely, and what a great present. Enjoyed by all!

Rabbits' Guy said...

What a nice set-up .. just needing a bunny hopping about!

Christina said...

Gorgeous, I love nothing better than to sit and watch the birds at the feeders.

SzélsőFa said...

we also have European goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)over here in Hungary.

Michelle Johnson said...

bringing the gift of another life to your parents doorstep is a beautiful thing. delightful little birds. hope all has been well. have a great day.

Deb G said...

I had a chance to see the swans in the fields recently too. I always wish I could stop and get closer....

Marvin said...

Although they do look much different, Goldfinches seem to be equally popular as a feeder bird on both sides of the pond. Locally, goldfinches are often called canaries because the males are so colorful in the summer. Thought we have a large population of goldfinches in winter, most head north about the same time they become fully colored.