Saturday 31 December 2011

Red, gold and - eventually - green

We have a very small urban garden in Wareham, so I don't have great hopes for building much of a garden list as long as we're here. To date only the most common species have been seen in or over it. I put a few feeders out earlier this month anyway, and have been pleasantly surprised to find Goldfinch the most frequent and numerous visitor, the high count being a flock of 12, outnumbering even the maximum number of Starling seen at any one time so far. Today I was expressing concern to visiting friends about the complete absence of Greenfinch since we moved in in July, and speculating that trichomonosis, a disease which has seen their population slump by a third, was the likely cause.
At this point my (non-birding) visitor said - 'what's that then?' as a fine male Greenfinch posed on the feeder. The next wave of Goldfinch to arrive brought another, a dowdy female this time, and, better still, a female Siskin, probably the pick of my garden ticks to date. As well as reminding me of the need to clean the feeders regularly, all this has helped me work out that the grey house at the back of our garden provides an excellent mid-tone, neutral background which brings out the colours of species like these on a dull day. So expect some fancy branches to be attached to the feeders soon, and lots of pictures with this giveaway backdrop.

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