30th November 2017

New data on, appropriately, Darwin’s Finches, in the Galapagos, show definitively that new species can arise in as little as two generations. Closer to home, studies show that this lovely species, the Goldfinch, is evolving longer bills. This is thought to be an adaptation to garden feeders, which they increasingly visit- we have a small charm every day at present. Males already have longer bills than females,¬†enabling them to obtain seeds from Teasels. Conditions: Cold, with sunny intervals. Temperature: Max 6- Min -1C.

Goldfinch

Goldfinch

Goldfinch

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4th April 2017

There’s been a blog-break, enforced by my computer breaking– hope to be back in action now. Goldfinches are gathering the feathers I put out, seed heads of Japanese Anemones, and they will also use seed-heads of Coltsfoot, to line their nests. Like other birds, they are busy at present nest-building- carefully explore where they fly with moss, twigs etc and you may discover you have nests in your garden. Occasional gentle exploration will not disturb them, and you may get

Goldfinch gathers feathers for nesting

Goldfinch

Goldfinch gathering seeheads of Japanese Anemone

information that will help prevent you doing gardening tasks that ruin their nests. This way, my friend Jenny discovered a Robin’s nest in her shed, which has put paid to getting the tools out for a while! Conditions: Cloudy with sunny intervals. Temperature: Max 14- Min 7c.

14th December 2015

Teasels in winter-Though they spread themselves a bit liberally around the garden, they are both beautiful in winter and a source of seeds for Goldfinches. Apparently though, only for male Goldfinches. It is hard to tell males from females but only males have long enough beaks to extract seeds from Teasels, so these must be male. Clearly, not all the seeds get scattered or eaten as we saw recently, with these seeds apparently germinating in the seed-head itself, probably due to the mild winter. Conditions: A spell of cloudy, still weather Temperature: Max 8- Min 7c.p.birds.12 024IMG_4934

Male Goldfinch on Teasel

Male Goldfinch on Teasel

Teasel head germinating its own seeds

Teasel head germinating its own seeds