Why no finches?

So I moved into my new house about 6 weeks ago. It’s part of a terrace in Cwmbran that backs onto woodlands. I’ve put a lot of feeders up which have attracted lots of birds. Notably I have a wren regularly using a caged mealworm feeder, Jays, Nuthatches and all 4 species of the usual tits. We also had a woodpecker the other day on the peanut feeder. However one thing I don’t seem to see are any finches. We had 2 goldfinches land on the seed feeder once but something spooked them and they flew off before they could tuck in, we had a female green finch inspect the feeders another time but she was spooked by a squirrel and then we had a female chaffinch visiting for a few days but she’s gone now. At first I thought squirrels might be the problem so all the feeders were replaced with squirrel busters/caged national trust feeders but still nothing. Another thought I had was the lack of cover in the garden but seen as the woods go right up to the fence where I hang the feeders I doubt this is the issue. Any thoughts? Sorry for the long-winded post! 

  • Hi.

    I was very interested to read your post as I live in Barry South wales and my house backs onto woodland, fields, but I live in a very busy open cul-de-sac.

    I have a tiny garden and started feeding birds 2 years ago, last year had coaltits, bluetits, greattits, Robins, wagtails, dunnock, sparrows etc.

    This year I started putting a lot of sunflower hearts out and was amazed the amount of goldfinches we now have. I am talking 20/30 at a time. Its crazy but am not getting any other birds just goldfinches.

    Sunflower hearts are definitely the food to put out for them. They are ridiculous skittish and as my street is so busy they do get scared so easily as I have no cover in garden but they do come back.

  • Patience, 2hoots, patience. If you've been feeding for just 6 weeks and part way through changed the feeders (squirrel guardian attachments) they may have just been getting used to the feeders. Also, what products are you feeding to attract the finches with? Thirdly, backing onto a woodland, there is potentially still a lot of natural finch food about. And finally.... not that this is from experience or anything.... *ahem* you haven't put up a niger seed feeder filled with sunflower hearts have you?....They don't fit through!!  Other forum members will have idea's too, but patience is key, and also a water source.

  • In reply to PimperneBloke:

    Thanks for your reply. I have a mini nyjer feeder up with nyjer seed, and a squirrel buster plus and standard squirrel buster filled with sunflower hearts so they should have everything they could want. You’re probably right though, I may just need to wait a bit longer. Once I’ve cleared the garden of rubbish I’m planning on building a pond so hopefully this will help draw them in, as I understand that being mainly seed eaters they need a lot of water.
  • Finches come and go being very seasonal depending on the supply of natural food. I get periods of 1 or 2 finches and then periods of loads of them.

    Richard B

  • In reply to Kath1977:

    Thanks for the reply Kath. I do have sunflower hearts in a few feeders and nyjer too… hopefully this is just a waiting game then and I just need to be more patient
  • I know what you all mean about patience, I am terrible sat here wanting every garden bird in my garden. Have no bloody patience....
  • Six weeks is probably still a little too early for the word to have spread among the birds in your area. Sunflower Hearts are a good tempter, but don't expect daily visits, a lot will depend on the weather, what other known reliable food sources there are and also local habitat.

    If you're out in the open with no refuge cover, no matter how near the woodland is, that could also deter any birds.

    Give it time, once winter sets in they will most likely be glad of an easy food source.


    Flickr Peak Rambler