I hear the sound… the sound of Siskins

I’ve mentioned the variety of finches we’re now getting in the garden, and it’s been a good four weeks now that we have had a small company of Siskins hanging around.

Male Siskin

Male Siskin

One notable aspect of this though has been the noise they make, even with only three or four in a tree. We hear this racket most mornings. They don’t roost in our nearby willow, but they arrive pretty much as soon as the sun comes up.

Anyway, the other morning I decided to try record this using just the voice recorder function of my mobile phone, for your benefit. Here is the result:

You may need to turn the volume on your computer up quite high as it’s not exactly a professional recording! If you want to know how I got this recording, there’s a quick guide HERE.

Anyway, that’s maybe half-a-dozen tiny finches making all that noise.

We’ve also had the occasional Lesser Redpoll. They are fine to ID when you clearly see a red head like this (sorry for the poor quality, it was raining heavily!):

Lesser Redpoll York, Jan 2014

Lesser Redpoll
York, Jan 2014

An obvious Redpoll. But, this time of year, they are often far more nondescript with no real red:

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Pretty much no red at all (can you make any out? I can’t). So for ID you go onto secondary characteristics, like that little black mask and bib.

At times it’s pretty chaotic, with 6+ of three species fighting for space on the feeders:

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It’s not just finches though. We’ve two pairs of Blackbirds, and the males often square off. They also sit pretty close to the house and are pretty relaxed around us:

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I recently put some fat balls quite close to the living room window, and the Coal Tits in particular like those:

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We’ve also got a couple of magpies that have been hanging around since they were juveniles in the summer. Like all magpies they are smart enough to know when they are being watched, and as such harder to photograph. But here’s one:


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I welcome thoughts, comments and questions, so please feel free to share anything at all. Thanks, David

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