The closest most birds in the garden come to thistle seed is finding it in a feeder but now our twice-lifesize bull thistle flowers are starting to form seed this American Goldfinch female has found them to be an excellent source of lunch-time nourishment.
I was in the front garden intending to take an artistic photograph with a 14mm ultra-wide angle lens totally unsuitable for photographing birds, when a raucous “Wheeeep!” made me jump and look up. Not three or four feet above my head was this splendid Great-crested Flycatcher bellowing away. “Stay there” I entreated him and dashed indoors for the big lens … 99% of the time this is the last you see of a bird but he was still there and seemingly quite unperturbed by my presence.
Four pictures for the price of one today. The berries on the Amelanchier canadensis tree have started to ripen and are being eagerly devoured by the garden residents. Cedar Waxwings have been occasional visitors, American Robins have been almost constantly seen and then we have a tree-climbing Eastern Chipmunk and a juvenile male Northern Cardinal. Lots of nutrition for the natives.
The berries on the Amelanchier trees are starting to move towards ripeness with the appearance of some red colouration and that means the American Robins are moving in for a feast. When I was a youngster in Yorkshire, going onto some property and stealing fruit from their trees, mostly apples, was known in the dialect as “scrumping” – seems the tradition is still with us.
A garden resident this summer where we have several tall trees from which it can sally after passing food. Great Crested Flycatchers are sit-and-wait predators, sallying from high perches (usually near the tops of trees) after large insects, returning to the same or a nearby perch. Their clear, rising reep calls are a very common sound in summer.