Monday, 25 January 2010

Goldfinches join Red Army Faction


Home a little early. C outside points up at the enormous walnut tree at the back of the house, now full of birds all chittering away, filling the ear with that lovely burbling. She starts telling me the birds she has seen in neighbour E's garden during the day. Wrens, blue tits and four goldfinches. I can't tell what the birds in the walnut tree are. At this distance they might be sparrows.

Next thing C is tapping at the window with the binoculars in her hand. It is getting on to dusk so I can't be sure, but I am pretty sure the birds are goldfinches. At least fifty of them all excited, congregated on one walnut tree.





That's a pretty good likeness. It was the heads I could just about discern - that distinct tricolour. Manchester United colours: red, white and black. They must be the avian spectres of the Glazers Out! faction. No doubt they'll soon be descending on Old Trafford. Though, come to think of it, the anti-Glazers have taken to wearing green and gold, as for Newton Heath, the club that preceded United.

Maybe more than fifty. Maybe a hundred. How wonderful!



12 comments:

Angela France said...

wonderful indeed! I have never seen any of the finches or tits gathered in those numbers.

Poet in Residence said...

A wonderful sight it must be. A real miracle of nature. You are very lucky to see it. I have never seen them in such numbers. It's not as if they are starlings or crows...

By the way, our hero of Zenda, Rumsfeld or whatever he's called, has now, and I must say recklessly, got himself shot in the thumb and is going about telling everybody he trapped it in a door ... think Black Michael will fall that? Pah!

Anne said...

A charm of goldfinches!

(I often wonder if some mad Victorian clergyman dreamt up all our collective nouns.)

Billy C. said...

That must have been a beautiful sight, George. I hope you pickle those walnuts!

(I often wonder if some mad Victorian clergyman dreamt up all our collective nouns.)

I rather think it was poets. Who else could come up with such gems as the one you quoted and those quoted here.

http://users.tinyonline.co.uk/gswithenbank/collnoun.htm

The Plump said...

Tip of the day: If you want to see lots of goldfinches in your garden put out niger seeds in a feeder - they love them.

And a nightingale is singing outside my window.

George S said...

Not our walnut tree - not our garden. We have only a very small concrete yard. The tree is behind our neighbour's garden. Our share of the tree is visual. It's an eye-tree.

The Plump said...

You can still hang a bird feeder up, the birds will love it and the cats will love the birds.

George S said...

Tried hanging feeders - the birds don't come. They know the cats are watching. Besides, our neighbour Elizabeth keeps a five-star bird hostelry, in her large garden. It's Eden there. Why take a chance on our yard? One pigeon did and now it's an ex-pigeon. Or would have been had I not rescued it.

Have you ever noticed how cats' teeth start chattering when they see a bird? They start making most unbecoming noises, positively neurotic with anticipation. Nature red and breathless in tooth and claw.

The Plump said...

Then they step down from the window sill, wind round your legs and demand something from a tin. Cats are not immune from the forward march of civilisation.

Billy C said...

"Not our walnut tree - not our garden. We have only a very small concrete yard. The tree is behind our neighbour's garden. Our share of the tree is visual. It's an eye-tree."

Surely, George, you're not too old for a bit of walnut scrumping? Be a devil and go for it. :)

Lucy said...

How lucky for you. I just love them, is all, les chardonnerets.

George S said...

It's the colour, in grey sea-mist Britain. Like having flamingoes in Crewe.