Finch Treasures. (27th May 2012)

A survey of garden birds for (I think the British Trust for Ornithology) commented on the increase in numbers of goldfinches in gardens. This is certainly true in our case. We have seen a flock (technically a charm) of the little beauties in front and back gardens over winter, on the buddleia and teasel particularly. We are still seeing them now – and it is my guess that at least one pair are nesting nearby. But this morning as I lay in bed one of the birds came and clung on, in the way that birds can and will to the edge of our bedroom window. In the top corner and proceeded to peck at something. Do I remember that these birds use cobwebs to build their nests ? I am certain that chaffinches do, but goldfinches? Maybe it was simply taking some mortar, for trace elements or to replenish material in its crop, or finding a spider in the wall. Whatever: it was a real joy to lie there while the bright plumaged bandit performed so, so confidently so very close. I was reminded of a book that Mr “Nobby” Clarke our teacher in what would now be a Y6 class recommended for Roy (a friend) and I: Interesting British Birds. It had a jacket with an illustration of Goldfinches on it (Tunnicliffe I think). While the jacket has disappeared I still have the book; one of the first boos I ever bought on someone else’s recommendation.

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