Updated: Jan 26, 2021
This blog was written for Ecotherapy at St Nicks. To find out more about Ecotherapy at St Nicks including how to join click here
At this time of year it is quite common to see goldfinches in large flocks descend onto trees such as Alder where they will prise seeds from the cone like structures. Alternatively they might simply be flying overhead. In either circumstances, you will usually hear them before you see them. The goldfinches will call to each other, making a loud jangling sound a bit like wind chimes, with other metallic notes and sometimes buzzes.
(photo from Pixabay by ginger)
I’ve struggled to find a recording online that accurately represents the sounds that we usually hear at St Nicks, but the most useful one is the following: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXPjPL0Bnfo
Regardless of where you are, if you hear some of the metallic jangling noise I advise you to look up and you might be lucky enough to see a flock of goldfinches flying overhead. Another place to look out for goldfinches is on teasels. They will often land on these plants and pluck out seeds from the spiky flower heads. I was recently reminded that we finally saw this at St Nicks in the flesh, and I managed to get a photo, which I have now found gathering electronic dust on my hard drive: