I've been lurking for the past few days and have really enjoyed some of the discussions and pics, so thought I would post!
My girlfriend and I moved into our house in October '17 and in our first spring noticed that we had a pair of Goldfinches that had made a nest in the outer branches of our neighbours tree that had branched out above our fence panels. They stayed for a while but there were no signs of any eggs or chicks. Due to the vast renovation work we had to do (and still have to do) we had a couple of bonfires, mostly before the Goldfinches arrived, but one when we knew they were nesting. We don't have a huge garden but it is big enough to have the bonfire a comfortable distance from the nest, however the wind was a bit of a pain and I remember it seemingly blowing smoke in every direction. This was last summer and although they didn't leave the nest straight away, a few days later they were gone and never returned. We were really sad as we felt we had smoke them out, and almost certainly did.
We had purchased quite a bit of Niger seed and sunflower hearts whilst they stayed, but I think I only ever saw them eat once from the feeder, although the more I learn the more I think this was probably down to the feeder we were using (certainly in the case of the Niger seed).
Well at the weekend two Goldfinches came back into the garden to mooch around, still paying no interest to the feeders. Since then I have purchased an appropriate feeder for the Niger seed and sunflower hearts, so I am hoping this might help them to stick around. Unfortunately once they had abandoned the nest we decided to cut the tree branches back, but there is still plenty of space if they wish to nest back there.
If anyone has any ideas on whether it was indeed the bonfire that saw them flee, or if Goldfinches abandon nests for no apparent reason, then please let me know your thoughts, as well as any other tips on how to help them feel more at home in our garden. We have blue and great tits, blackbirds, sparrows, wood pigeons and starlings that visit frequently, but I really love those little red faced birds and would love to see them more often (we even named our house The Goldfinches).
Thanks for reading all of that (if you did)
My Flickr photos
Just taken this through the window for you to show that they will use anything they can perch on.
along with the standard feeders with perches they will also use the mesh type.
Hello Lorri, welcome from me up in the very far north of Scotland, in Caithness. That was a shame about the Goldies leaving the nest, as Alan says, you will never know. Now you have some more coming back so hopefully they will nest with you once again. They are lovely wee birds with their red faces. I had around 10 the day of the Big Garden Watch. Enjoy and look forward to reading any updates.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
My Flickr Photostream
In reply to Goldfincher:
Hello Lorri, from Suffolk, over the years we have lived in our house we have built up a following of up 30 Goldfinch's visiting the garden daily and like Tony before we gave up Niger seed as it went uneaten and now only use sunflower hearts, with our feeders needing filling every couple of days. In time they get used to all feeders but I have noticed that with the normal perch feeders they do seem to prefer the RSPB feeder with ridged round metal perches, we have some with plastic perches and they go down slower and another with small diameter metal smooth perches which is always the last to be emptied.
This is one of last years juveniles delving down into an open top feeder. As everyone has said keep percevering and they will eventually visit and learn to use your feeders. Good luck.
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