Thursday, 29 May 2014

Golden

The dreary weather has been a bit disappointing over the last few days and has kept us more or less 'grounded' from our walks around the countryside. But there have been one or two brighter moments closer to home.  I mentioned the delightful little moth which visited our garden a couple of days ago, well, that hasn't been the only colourful visitor we've had.  Yesterday saw a pair of Goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis) foraging about looking for nesting material.
Despite the low light and drizzle, I managed to get a few shots through the window which turned out to be not too bad.
Goldfinches have rather bucked the trend of other British birds over the last few decades and their numbers have increased to around 313,000 breeding pairs in the UK.  Feeding on seeds from Alder, Birch, Thistle, Dandelion and Teasel, their thin bills are brilliantly adapted to cope with the tiny seeds.  They nest in trees, often perilously close to the ends of branches, lining the nest with moss, lichens and fluffy plant material.  It was this fluff from the Willow trees around these parts, which the birds were collecting from our garden yesterday and, despite the continued bad weather, they were back again this morning.
Stunningly beautiful little birds, no one could accuse them of being LBJ's!
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