Friday, 18 November 2022

A Foraging Charm

Hello, friends!

There are somethings that I never tidy up, or dead head, in the garden until spring, simply because the birds love the seed heads and it's actually good for them to keep foraging naturally. Although if you regularly feed the birds on a table and from feeders, don't stop! I do both.  It's important that the birds keep foraging because it stops them from becoming lazy and relying on us feeding them their supplementary seeds and meal worms etc. 

Most afternoons now, between three and four, I can almost set my watch by them as they come in to feed.

We have a neighbourhood charm of goldfinches that swoops in most afternoons around 3:30. They settle on the verbena bonariensis and tuck in. They're not the best of pictures but in my defence I was taking them through the window.










I took these the following afternoon, taking advantage of the fine weather, while it still holds.  Given the lack of definition in the markings and the lack of red with minimal gold markings on the head, I'm wondering if this is a fledgling from this year? It is feeding on what is left of the Evening Primrose.






Thank you for stopping by
Until next time
Stay safe, stay well
Debbie xo

15 comments:

  1. What lovely photos. Haven't seen any Goldfinches in the garden for a while (but some out and about) and the Greenfinches aren't about at the feeders either. I do think feeding them through the summer the first year we were here made a difference. I couldn't afford to this year when our local Hay & Brecon Farmers really hiked up the price of bird seed. My garden still has lots of perennials which have gone over and the birds are to be seen picking through them for insects. The holly and ivy hedge is a particular attraction to them, and to the insects.

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    1. Thank you, Bovey Belle. Goldfinches are the dominant bird in the garden at the moment, with a handful of blue tits, robins, chaffinches, sparrows, a wren, all the usual suspects, not forgetting the crows, rooks and starlings.

      I have a small supply of bird feed left but it's worrying what the impact of the rising cost of living is going to have on feeding the birds in general. To be honest I'm wondering whether I'll be able to afford the next lot here myself as my heating has to take priority for my health’s sake.

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  2. What a lovely post and photos. Goldfinches are such beautiful little birds - I've just been watching 6 on my feeders. We leave all our seedheads too until the Spring as you say so many birds will feed on them and its good they forage for themselves too. Goldfinches really like lavender seed heads we have found. The only thing OH does scythe is the wildflower meadow but all the perennials in borders are left intact.

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    1. Thank you, Ragged Robin. That's interesting regarding the lavender. Earlier this year I planted nine new plants which are full of seed heads, yet the goldfinches are showing preference for the verbena bonariensis over everything else that's available to them.

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  3. Hi Deb! Love your finches, so pretty. My balcony is being frequented by a flock of tits, they look for the seeds in the dried up plants, too. Have a lovely weekend, hugs, Valerie
    Have you painted another face?

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    1. Thank you, Valerie. Yes, the birds do love foraging wherever they can find seeds.
      No, I haven't done another face yet. I'm going to be practicing my skin tones in my journal first, but I'm thinking about taking a watercolour class by Anna Mason in which we paint a fresh pear.
      Have a great weekend, hugs Deb.

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  4. Deb, your goldfinch are different than our goldfinch. I must say yours are so colorful and so darling! It's a good thing to leave seed heads for our feathered friends. This very thing was on my mind this morning as I was raking out the perennial beds. So many goodies were left . They certainly are entertaining to enjoy as we look out the windows. Have a lovely weekend! xoxo

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    1. Thank you, Martha Ellen. Yes, it's always a good idea to leave things for foraging, because otherwise it can persuade the birds to become lazy and to rely on too much on the feeders. Hope you have a lovely weekend too. xoxo

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  5. I used to have goldfinches but haven't seen them in a couple of years. I leave most of the heads on except for when I have to cut through to make a path! And I take the pumpkins out to the back and crack them open so everyone can dig in on the seeds! Tis the season!

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    1. Thank you, Jeanie. Interesting you should say that. On my Instagram profile, my neighbour a few streets over has had goldfinches for a few years whereas I haven't, but now I've got them and she hasn't. I wonder if they moved their territory from time to time?

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  6. As Martha Ellen stated, your goldfinches are different from our American Goldfinch. Yours are just as lovely, in their own way. I enjoy seeing them dig away for their food in your photos. I still have goldfinches, blue jays, cardinals, chickadees, titmouses, plenty of sparrows, woodpeckers. I am sure I am leaving somebody out, but you can see we still have lots to watch at the feeder. I can see the birdfeeder easier than I can see the flower bed from inside. I have left lots of flower heads up, so they have lots to choose from. I hope I don't have to cut down or cut out feeding them, but we all are having to make decisions about what is most important these days. Until that day, I shall enjoy the happiness watching them brings me. Great photos, Deb.

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    1. Thank you, my friend. Yes, watching the birds brings me great pleasure. You have a good list of them too. I hope I can manage to squeeze in buying bird food through the winter. Although we all know we have to prioritise. xoxo

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  7. We have lots of goldfinches - beautiful birds. They love sunflower hearts.

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    1. Thank you, Sue. Goldfinches seem to come and go in my garden. I've been promised some teasels. Apparently, they love those.

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  8. Debbie, your photos are beautiful, even ones taken through the window. This "It's important that the birds keep foraging because it stops them from becoming lazy and relying on us feeding them their supplementary seeds and meal worms etc" is something I'd never thought of! Good point!

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