Wednesday, August 26, 2020


Goldfinches must be the most colourful of all the native finches. I have seen then on most walks this year, first as single pairs in spring and, once their breeding season was over, in flocks, often in the company of linnets.

Immaculate breeding plumage, in spring.
This side view shows the beak well - longer and more pointed that most finches, perfect for wheedling seeds out of teasel heads in autumn

In late spring, dandelion seeds are a favourite meal

That pointed beak is also perfect for extracting seeds from ripe larch cones

And later in the year their diet sometimes switches to oilseed rape seeds

Late summer and the breeding season is over. Often in mixed flocks, with linnets on the Durham coast

Late in the summer, knapweed seeds are favourite food

I often see flocks on up to 200 goldfinches on the Durham coast between Hawthorn Dene and Dawdon,  in early autumn

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