Tuesday, 4 March 2008


Tiny and upside down. That’s how you’ll often tell a greenfinch from the little siskin carduelis spinus who comes into gardens at this time of year. You’ll usually hear their tinny chatter first, up in the birch trees. They love a natter.

Then the green males and their brown wives will come to the peanuts and feed, heads down, tails up: great little acrobats.

Birds of pinewoods, they have become garden visitors due to the planting of conifers in Sherwood, where our deciduous trees should be king. They travel from their conifers into gardens when natural foods become scarce from January onwards..

They are not regular garden breeders, returning to their favoured evergreen woodlands in spring.

And a great vindication of garden bird feeding.

Thanks to Rob Hoare for letting me use this photo. I recommend his site.
I grew up in Clifton and Wilford and know Clifton Grove well. It was the place chosen by DH Lawrence for one of the famous scenes in his autobiographical novel 'Sons and Lovers'. Paul and Mrs Dawes walked from Wilford Toll Bridge to Clifton Village via the Grove.

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