January 28th 2014

Goldfinch, showing head and tail markings

Goldfinch, showing beautiful head and tail markings

The journey through collective nouns continues as a charm of Goldfinches turned up this morning! Here they are feeding on their winter favourite, nyger seed, though they’ll also enjoy sunflower hearts . Males and females are very IMG_5047similar, males having a slighter larger red mask which extends further behind the eye. They are smaller than greenfinches, and have more pointed, slimmer beaks which can tease out seed from thistles, ragwort, teasels etc. Thousands were trapped and caged during the Victorian era, valued for their beautiful plumage and song. Their population slumped again in the 70’s and 80’s, probably due to herbicide use. 

                 Conditions: Wet, cold start.  The   southerly winds of the past few weeks beginning to veer to the east. Temperature: Max 6 – Min 4c

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