Greenfinches – where did they go and why are they back?

When I first moved to Daventry my back garden was a barren wasteland with respect to little feathered friends. Eventually, after putting out peanuts and other bird foods, rather than the expected starlings and sparrows, our first visitors were greenfinches. We have welcomed these back every year, including some youngsters, numbers increasing as I tempted them in with sunflower hearts.

However, this Winter, there seems to have been a dearth of the little fellows with chaffinches being this season’s greenfinch. Where I had regularly seen 6 or 8 of them fighting over the feeders this year there were just one or two. I mentioned this to someone at the Northamptonshire Bird Club who knows more about such things than I, and he also seemed to think that the numbers were down. He thought they may have succumbed to a disease that has hit finches over the last couple of years.

This morning, I opened the blinds to look at the windy world and immediately counted 8 greenfinches in the garden. I don’t know where they went especially when the weather was cold and the bird numbers in the garden increased, but I certainly welcome the greedy little chap and chapesses back to fight over the feeders once more.

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