Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.


Goldfinches on Two Sides of the Pond

After seeing my Mystery Bird post last week, a fellow blogger sent me photos of finches he had visiting at his location. It was interesting to compare the different colour patterns.

My goldfinch was the American version on the North American side of the pond. Here are the two blurry pictures I was able to manage to capture of these flighty birds.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, in the UK, my blogging friend Jeff Grant took these pictures of the European version of the goldfinch.

They are often hard to photograph. These birds don’t want to hang around long enough for zooming or focusing, but isn’t it amazing to find so many of them (at least 14) together in one place.

Thank you for these photos, Jeff.

I wanted to show the colour differences between the two variations – the European and the American goldfinches – but they are too far away to see the colours clearly. Concerned about copyright violations, I didn’t want to use an Internet photo, so I did a daring thing. I sketched a bird and coloured it in my own amateur way, trusting that my blogging friends would forgive my lack of artistic talent and concentrate on the colours that identify the European goldfinch.

Here is my effort at avoiding copyright violation with my own drawing.

European Goldfinch

I would love to see these goldfinches in such numbers where I live. That would be so amazing.


Mystery Bird

A short time ago I had a mystery beetle to identify, but this week, it’s a mystery bird. We don’t often get brightly coloured songbirds here, so when this yellow bird landed on the fencing of my garden, I rushed to get the camera. I barely had time to find the bird in my viewfinder when it took off. Hence the blurry photo.

Later it came back and, again, I rushed to get the camera. Again it was a blurry photo, and the bird immediately flew away.

I snapped wildly in the general direction of the bird’s flight and thought, at first, that I had missed it. But when I zoomed in on the photo, I found it in the top right-hand corner. It’s too tiny to see what it is, so I saved a zoomed photo of that part that I circled below.

It’s still blurry, but it was enough that I could see the colours of the back and the wing markings.

I’ve determined that it is an American goldfinch.

If it ever sits still for longer than a few seconds, I might someday get a clearer picture of it. Meanwhile, it sang to me:


I heard that your birdfeeder has some good seeds,

They’re oh so delicious for filling my needs.

You want to take pictures of me in your yard,

But sitting still long is quite risky  and hard.


I’ve seen that big hawk that is hanging around,

I make it my mission that I won’t be found.

It’s why I’m so  nervous and seem to be flighty,

But when I sit still long, the danger is mighty.


So snap away quickly before I must leave,

I know, if I’m dead, just how much you will grieve.

I’ll fly away happy and singing a song,

I’ll say hello quickly and then I am gone.