Monday 29 December 2014


Day-time ringing opportunities at this time of the year in Mid-Wales are a bit limited but at the beginning of December I started feeding the garden again after the summer break. Almost immediately this attracted the attention of a sizeable flock (or 'charm') of Goldfinches. 

Not the best of photos but it does show just how busy it can be under the feeders. Not sure why they seem to prefer to throw it all out on the floor rather than eat at the feeders but the dog seems to enjoy helping himself to most of what they spill!!

At times there can be nearly 50 Goldfinches on, under or around the 6 nijer seed feeders and keeping them all topped up is costing me a small fortune. Well worth it though as this month alone I have caught nearly 100 different Goldfinches in the garden including 86 new birds and a control. 

This bird caused a bit of confusion. It is obviously an adult based on the even colour of the primaries and tertials and the shape of the tail feathers. With a wing of 82 mm, red well behind the eye and predominantly black lesser coverts I sexed it as a male but the photo clearly shows it has very white nasal bristles, a feature supposedly found on females?

 A more typical male showing black nasal bristles. Whatever colour the bristles they are a stunning little bird and it is great to see them here in such good numbers.

It won't be that long now until they are joined by the returning Siskins and Redpolls and then the wallet really will take a hammering!

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