How can I attract Goldfinches into my garden?

Would anyone be able to tell me how I can attract Goldfinches into my garden? I only have a single tree, although my neighbours garden is full of trees and bushes, and I am wondering if this is the problem as my friends seem to attract them all the time but have trees in their gardens .  My garden is quite small but I live in front of a green space field.  I have lived here for 18 years and only ever seen 2 Goldfinches which were last year. I read on a post on here to plant cornflower to attract them which I did but that didn't attract them either - although the flowers were lovely. I have fat balls, seed, niger seeds and nuts on my lone tree which attracts Starlings, Blackbirds, Sparrows, Tits of all kind including long tail, Robins (2 regular visitors) Wrens, Sparrowhawks, Kestrels, Chaffinchs, Thrush, Herring gulls (occasionally) Pigeons, Doves and Ducks but no Goldfinches.  I also get hedgehogs in my garden and have foxes in the field which I sit and watch. Reading back on this post I sound like I am being a little greedy wanting goldfinches when I already get such an array of wildlife but any advise would be gratefully received. Thank You 

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  • Hi Joanne one food you don't mention is Sunflower Hearts, if you haven't got s feeder with them on it could be worth putting one up, Goldie's love them.

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  • Not sure about cornflower. If you are referring to comments I've made previously in other threads about attracting goldfinches, I was referring to perennial cornflower which is very different from the annuals often grown from seed. I've also mentioned niger previously, speculating its success is possibly influence by teasel prevalence in an area. Teasel is very good at drawing in goldfinches and if they are used to feeding on it, they may be more likely to be keen on niger. Just me guessing. Evening primrose is another plant goldies feed off. As has been mentioned, if buying food, sunflower hearts are another option.
    Re your set up, do you ever get anything using those nestboxes? It's recommended not to have feeders close to nest sites.
  • Hello Joanna, welcome to the community from Caithness, up at the very top of Scotland. As has been suggested, Sunflower Hearts, they loved them along with Niger seed. You are already using other good food sources. you seem to be getting a nice variety of visitors, birds and the Hoggies. Rather than have the one tree and the birds houses in the corner, which as Robbo has suggested is not a good idea to have feeders too near where there is food available, as it would encourage birds to the boxes with the young in them, you could add more along the fence. You could either make a small border, it does not need to be very wide or plant material in the ground, at the fence sides. Things that would grow quite quickly and spread along the fence (which you could fix to the fence) which would give some more cover for the birds to go back and forth to, to hide from any predators or eat their food. You could space the boxes out more then, amongst the foilage. Suggestions could be willow trees, they grow very quickly (even from cuttings), Rowan, Cotoniaster, Viburnum, Pyracantha, Flowering Current, Holly, Skimmia Japonica, Larurel, Flowering Cherry, Sea Buckthorn, you could hang some feeders in the new trees/shrubs and these have berries on as well so will encourage the birds. Nice photos, the Fox looks very happy lying in the sun, along with the blackbird sunning himself, love the baby ducklings, the pigeon is shouting for some more food and the Sprawk is eyeing up its next meal! Good luck.

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  • Good advice already given. From my personal experience I also wanted to attract goldfinch into my garden and it was only when I changed the feed in the feeders that I had some success.I had a separate feeder for niger feed and another feeder with sunflower hearts and a mix of different seeds. It was around a month before they started to come on a regular basis. I also attracted green finch with the sunflower hearts and now see them on a regular basis. I change the water in the bird bath every day at this time of year and in the summer twice a day and that is another attraction as the goldfinch regularly use it to drink and bathe. Let us know if you attract them and post your pictures of them on here, Always nice to see a goldfinch.
    Good luck.
  • In reply to Alan.:

    Thanks Alan, Ive actually got a bag on sunflower hearts which I add in when I make fat balls but Ill get a feeder. Thanks for your advice.

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  • In reply to Robbo:

    Hi Robbo - Thanks for the suggestions. The nestbox is only used as a feeder. I fill it full of seed for the smallbirds. I think its facing the wrong way to be used at a nesting box or that's what I've read, but in any case, Ive never had anything nest in it. I will give the teasel and evening primrose a try. Thank you

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  • In reply to Catlady:

    Thanks for the advice. I think I need to get planting

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  • In reply to i love robins:

    Thank you for your advice. I think the quickest and easiest thing to do is introduce sunflower hearts. I only have a small garden but have 2 bird baths which i clean and refill regularly, especially when the pigeons & starlings decide to bathe. I also have 3 water trays on the ground for the hogs. Watch this space

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  • Hi

    I put a Niger seed feeder up about 3 years ago- Goldfinches found it in 2 days

    S

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  • Plant Teasels and Lavender

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    Cheers,

    Bob

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