February 28th, 2018


Nature watch: goldfinches

It’s absolutely beautiful here today, even though, according to my weather app, the temperature ‘feels like’ -9. We had a light powdering of snow yesterday afternoon which has frozen crisp and sparkly. That’s as much snow as I want, thank you.

Looking out of the kitchen window this morning I saw four goldfinches feeding on the seed heads of Verbena bonariensis. This is the very reason I never cut these plants down in autumn. Goldfinches are rare visitors; I saw them occasionally in my old garden, where I had some teasels. If the big freeze goes on much longer, I may see redwings, which only come south in the bitterest of weather. Edit I've just checked and redwings were last seen here in December 2010.

Coincidentally, I’m currently reading a wonderful book: A Sweet, Wild Note by Richard Smyth. It’s all about birdsong and our relationship with it. I’ll write some more about it later, I hope.