Greenfinch Carduelis chloris male

Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris) male, rear garden, Staffordshire, England. May 2017.


Carduelis cannabina

Linnet Carduelis cannabina female

Linnet Carduelis cannabina female

Walking along the beach front one morning I came across quite a few of these small finches, and they always appeared to travel as a pair. The female, as seen in the top two images, although beautiful does not stand out as much as the male with his rosy-pink flushed breast. See below.

Linnet Carduelis cannabina male

Linnet Carduelis cannabina male

It can be seen all year round, and is common and widespread throughout Britain except for the far north. It often feeds in groups, which I observed for myself that morning, on seeds on the ground. Can also been seen on heaths, rough grassland and farmland.

Linnet (Carduelis cannabina) male and female, West Shore Beach, Llandudno, Wales. April 2017.

An Old Friend Returns

Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)

This male Chaffinch was a regular visitor to my feeder during the summer, but I hadn’t seen him for the past few weeks, until today. The last time I saw him I noticed he had a problem with one of his feet, which looked like it was covered in a growth of some kind.

Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)

It didn’t appear to bother him then, and it doesn’t appear to bother him now, despite how nasty it looks. Looking this up on the net I believe he is suffering from chaffinch viral papilloma, a virus specific to chaffinches only. It may have got infected through a  small cut in the foot. Unfortunately there is no cure, but infected birds rarely die from it. I notice he does have trouble balancing sometimes, and it must be quite an irritation, but he seem well enough, and he is still quite friendly and allows me to get pretty close to him.

Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)

Photographs of  male Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs), taken September 2016, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Nikon 70-300mm telephoto zoom lens.

Don’t Eat With Your Mouths Full

Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)

Photographs of  Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris), taken September 2016, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Nikon 70-300mm telephoto zoom lens.

Growing Up

Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)

Photograph of young Goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis), taken September 2016, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Nikon 70-300mm telephoto zoom lens.


Carduelis carduelis

Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)

I photographed this adult and juvenile Goldfinch on my feeder over the past couple of mornings. The sun wasn’t quite up so the light wasn’t as good as I would have liked, and I would have liked to have gotten closer to them, but that’s how it goes sometimes. This is a bold flashy bird with its bright red-head and face spot. It has a black cap and white head, a sharp pale beak, a chestnut patch either side of its breast, tawny back plumage and bright flashes of yellow on the wing feathers. The juvenile has duller wings and a greyish head.

Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) juvenile

Their long beaks allow them to feed on the seeds of thistles and teasels, in which they are specialists in extraction. They will also visit bird feeders and bird tables, and search for invertebrates at ground level. It breeds in low-lying deciduous woodland, pine plantations and orchards.They form nests made of roots, grass and cobwebs in tree trunks or shrubs. The female lays 5 or 6 eggs in 2 broods from May to July. Goldfinches can live for up to 5 years.

Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) juvenile

Seen all year round, although many UK Goldfinches will migrate as far south as Spain for warmer climes. Found in wild roughland, wasteland, roadside verges, anywhere there is tall wildflower growth where there are plentiful seeds on which they feed. Also seen in parks and gardens. Common and widespread, except for the far north and west of Scotland.

Photographs of Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis), adult and juvenile taken August 2016, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2016. Camera used Nikon D7200, with Nikon 70-300mm telephoto zoom lens.

Happy Families

Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)

I took these photos of this family of Greenfinches as they visited my feeder. Note how striking the male is in the centre of the top photo, compared to the brownish juvenile on the right, and the slightly duller female behind on the left and just out of focus.

They gather in flocks  together to feed, eating seeds from trees or plants, berries and nuts. Also found on birdtables and feeders in town and village gardens.They nest in bushes made of grass and twigs lined with finer stems, hair and feathers. The female lays 4-6 eggs in 1 or 2 broods from April to July. They can live for up to 3 years.

Seen all year round, and found in open deciduous woodland, parks, large gardens, orchards, busy habitats, hedgerows, farmland, coastal cliffs with good coverage of vegetation. Once in decline in the 1970s and 1980s, but increased quite substantially in the 1990s, it is a common and widespread species, and has an RSPB green status.


Fringilla coelebs

This bright and colourful bird is a regular visitor to our bird feeder. Only today I watched it sip water from the bird bath, and just sit there for a good while perched on the edge of it, looking around before taking its fill of sunflower seeds from the feeder. These images are of the male of the species, which is much brighter with his bright red underbelly, the female being a plainer olive-green.

It eats a variety of invertebrates in the summer, mainly caterpillars, but otherwise takes seeds and berries, and visits bird tables for mixed seeds particularly, sunflower seeds.

The nest is a camouflaged cup of grass, moss, cobweb, and lichen against the trunk of a tree or bush. The female lays 4 or 5 eggs in 1 brood from April to May. Chaffinches can live for up to 5 years.

It is seen all year round, and is found in woods and parks, and is a very common visitor to the garden where it can become quite tame and used to people, so much so it may even feed out of your hand. A common and widespread bird throughout the United Kingdom.

Photographs taken April 2014, rear garden, Staffordshire.