Lovely people, the Goldfinches.
It is Rowan berry season, which can only mean one thing; masses of Starlings facing off against the mighty Thrushes, who jealously defend their chosen trees from other birds. The Blackbirds get in on it too. Even the Magpies stay clear of this mess. I had noticed the Thrushes starting to gather some weeks ago, although the berries were far from ripe. But they knew. Photos from last week:
An upshot was that I discovered that the Starlings could, after all, get into the feeder cage without too much difficulty, although I noticed one anxious youngster hopping around outside, wondering how the adult got in so easily.
Also, I got new feeders. I gave up on the bottle conversion strategy. It’s never going to compare to a proper feeder, even a small cheap one. One of them is a Nyger seed feeder…
…which promptly brought Goldfinches into the garden. Beautiful little violent thugs. They’re not interested in anything else, even peanuts. One paid a visit a month or two ago for a minute, but that was it. Nyger seed, however, is for them like peanuts for every other bird. They’re constantly squabbling over the two stations now.
The other feeder empties very quickly, but… I don’t think that the Tits are eating all of it. I suspect that there will be a very thick lawn there before long.
The first photo is how I found it, the second, how it should be. I noticed that the bottle wasn’t hanging as low as it should. The second is how it should be. The Magpies had pulled up the string and looped it around the post, which isn’t a trivial job, in order to get it up and stop it swinging so that it would be easier to get to the other side and get the seeds out (which aren’t really suitable for Magpies, but they never stop trying). When I first put it out, they tried to undo the knot and get it off the hook, so they decided on this as a plan B. I am impressed.