These chatty little birds have been down to the birdbath again this morning, the slightest movement from her indoors and they are off again!
I first noticed these small, bright and colourful birds around the garden a couple of years back, I can't say I had ever noticed them before. I first became aware of their song, almost a twinkle and very distinctive, and seemingly using our television aerial as a prominent perch.
These birds migrate to southern Europe, but many now stay due to our milder climate. I suspect my resident birds have nested in a neighbour's hawthorn tree, on numerous occasions seeing them flit in and out.
Their long thin beaks are perfect for extracting seed; thistle, teasel, dandelion and burdock, and in the summer months will also pick off small insects.
The goldfinches are loving the thistle seed, and have it all to themselves. For many months the feeder hung in a less manicured part of my garden, untouched, but is now two-thirds empty and will need a top-up soon.
A group of goldfinches is known as a charm and they certainly don't fail to live up to their collective noun.