Thursday, 6 January 2011

Goldfinch on the feeder

Happened to glance out of the window today just when this European Goldfinch was at one of the feeders. That's the first one at this feeder for at least 12 months. The photo is terrible, but I can add it to my grim gallery of goldfinch shots...

Why is it that the most beautiful birds do not always behave in front of the camera.

Whenever I see European Goldfinches I think that their plumage looks like warning colouration (aposematism). Red, black and yellow animals are often poisonous or distateful, sometimes as a result of distasteful chemicals in their own diet. Having never chomped on a goldfinch I'm not sure if that is the case here. Maybe medieval cookery books would tell us that "goldfynch maketh a vyle stewe" but having googled it I find instead that Chaucer's Cook's Tail starts with a jaunty reference to the species:"Happy he was as goldfinch in the glade". It turns out that that tale remains unfinished after a handful of lines. A plot device to draw a veil over unsavoury content... or maybe Chaucer ate something that didn't agree with him?

American and Lawrence's Goldfinches                                   

I did have some Lesser Goldfinch shots as well but I think I have deleted those - that gives an indication of just how bad they must have been...

To continue the theme here is another shot that I took today - a neat European Goldfinch nest in a roadside tree.

1 comment:

Joseph Nichols said...

Hi Geoff,

It's Joseph, I'm sure you remember meeting me on Fair Isle - what a fantastic time that was, it was a pleasure to meet you there.

I'm really admiring your blog. You have a variety of very interesting posts, with some very nice photos and plenty of good writing. I am now following your blog, and I have also added it to my blog list. I would very much appreciate it if you added my blog to your blog list, but of course that is up to you. I will continue to keep up to date with your blog.

All the best and I hope you have a successful birding year,