The weather yesterday evening prevented me getting out, the rain and wind pushing away last weeks Indian Summer. As a result this morning there is suddenly a distinctive feel and look of winter in the garden. The feeders have been inundated with Goldfinches, at one point I counted 34 birds in and around the garden squabbling over the feeders.
In amongst them was this single Greenfinch. You can see that the majority of the birds are this years fledglings, the red still developing on the forehead. It would though appear that they have learnt fast that they have to fight for a place on the feeders, and in many cases they have pushed what would appear to be adult birds off.
With all this squabbling and fighting going on there is plenty of seed being dropped onto the ground and here there is a more serene and quieter environment as the more worldly wiser Goldfinches calmly pick it up, almost all adult birds.
The remaining Goldfinches sit quietly in the trees contemplating the best time to make their move.
As well as the Goldfinches and Greenfinch there have been several Blue and Coal Tits about, and a single Great Tit creeping around the feeding areas. In the tree outside my office there was a Chiffchaff for awhile feeding by hovering under the branches, making its way through all the remaining leaves. Around the houses the Starlings have been flying around, the flock now well over 50 in number, but with a scattering of other birds about, it could be that this year the count exceed 100.
There was though one other visitor I was very pleased to see, they haven't been about for at least three years in the garden, and apart from a flyover last month they have been absent from around the patch too, a male Siskin feeding with the Goldfinches.
I am always surprised at how small they appear in comparison with the other finches, but it seemed quite at ease amongst the squabbling, paying very little attention as it stuck its head in to get the seeds.
There have been quite a few reports of Siskin moving lately, hopefully an indication that we will get some sizeable winter flocks. These flocks can also bring in Redpoll and Crossbills, and with the work in Old Dow finished now, and the Larches being a lot easier to view it could be a good winter for watching these delightful birds, we shall have to see
The weather shows signs of settling down once again as we head for the weekend, always a good omen.