Country Corner


When so many bird species are doing so badly at the hand of inconsiderate man, isn’t it wonderful the gorgeous wee goldfinch is doing so well.

The popularity of bird feeding over recent years has increased the populations of many of our traditional bird table visitors. New species have taken up our offer of a free meal. Goldfinches are one of the latter.

Once too shy and specialised to join the mob at the feeders, the availability of finer seeds such as Niger, has encouraged Goldie to flaunt his colours in our gardens.

These colours and the goldfinch’s trilling song, once earned it the name of Seven Coloured Linnet among the old cage bird fraternity. Indeed it was such a favourite among the ‘fancy’, it was widely trapped for captivity. Now I doubt if a day goes by without me seeing or hearing a “charm” of jingling goldfinches.

One of my favourite goldfinch memories was many years ago, ferreting with my six year old son (now a father of two). We had bought him a little camouflaged suit and I recall him whispering ‘Pst..pst..Dad. This must be working!’ as he pointed gingerly towards a Goldie which had landed on a thistle beside him.

Such memories, and sights such as the one photographed, are indeed the gold which provide the countryman’s great wealth.