The Goldfinch Boogie

The goldfinches were dancing around me on my walk this morning, posing for pictures and then taking off before I could get a decent shot.  They piloted me through the white pines and into the meadows where they’re collecting thistle down to line their nests.  I love watching them in flight, the way they seem to bounce up and down, coast, up and down, coast, calling out to each other as they make their way around the trees and meadows.

You can’t catch me!

Try as I might, there was no decent shot to be had, but I kind of like what I did get.  The spot of bright yellow in the white pine tree (the first image), and the blurry goldfinch in the background of the second.  Although you can’t see them well, the goldfinch presence is there.

Mingling. (Seed from a thistle mingling with the plantain seeds.)

The morning was warm and humid, but quite breezy so it didn’t feel too bad.  The goldfinches are incredibly active right now so any walk will likely involve a few sightings of them bobbing around in the meadows.

Today’s view of the pond

The goldfinch is said to be a symbol of joy, celebration, and high energy.  It always seems to me to be enjoying its life and journey, especially in flight.  One of the moments I enjoyed most this morning was over by the wildflower meadow where I was searching for praying mantises.  I was very still and the goldfinches must not have realized I was standing there as they popped up, one by one, out of the thistle and took off for another part of the meadow.  It’s as if they were happily playing Follow the Leader.

Pond weed leaf. (I really should learn to identify these things.)

I read somewhere that the pigment of the goldfinch is determined by its diet.  The better its diet, the brighter the pigment.  They are strict vegetarians for the most part.  Our goldfinches must be eating well as they look bright and happy.

Under the willow

I reckon that’s it from the Bogs for today.  Thank you for joining me on my morning walk.  It’s a good day to sit out on the swim platform and dangle your feet in the water or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, go for a swim.

Have a joyous day, a wonder-filled evening, and a peaceful night.  🙂

During all these years there existed within me a tendency to follow Nature in her walks.

~ John James Audubon

Last night’s crescent moon


32 Comments on “The Goldfinch Boogie”

  1. Chatter Master says:

    Well now, talk about beauty and color!!! I love the pond leaf! And the tree!

  2. They sure do like to make it a test for us don’t they, regardless of the species of bird.. Have to agree though that you got some neat shots..

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Brian. 🙂

      I’m thinking the birds are there to teach me something. Probably patience, something that seems to be my life lesson this time around. I’ll have the patience of a saint by the time I’m 90. Well, maybe 100 or so. I’m a slow learner. 😉

  3. Gracie says:

    You may think you weren’t able to get a decent shot of the goldfinches, but I really like the shots you got. Such vibrant yellows, I agree, they must be eating well 🙂
    Also love the patterns on the Pond weed leaf, for some reason it reminded me of “Spider Man”…LOL.

  4. Goldfinch hang about all year on the property. They love evening primrose once it has gone to seed and often I’ll see a dozen or more of them lift off as I approach. I recently bought the N.A. Audubon birds form y IPad and am loving it. Full of information and also lists sightings of any bird that is in your state.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Joss. 🙂 I have the Audubon field guide in book form but for some reason I’m not very good at identifying birds with it. The goldfinches are easy peasy, but sparrows? And swallows? They all look alike to me. I often wonder if it’s related to my inability to truly notice details. For instance, when I worked outside of the home, I would never notice when a co-worked got their hair cut or colored or new glasses or whatever. I just don’t notice things like that until someone points it out. (It’s terrible when it comes to people because it makes me seem unconcerned or uncaring, but truth is, I notice their moods more than their appearance.)

      Yep, the finches are here all year round. They take on an olive color in the winter, something I actually have noticed because they live in the big bush near my bedroom window.

      Have fun with your iPad version of the field guide! 🙂

  5. I, too, love the pond leaf. My friend Christine did a post about gold finches yesterday. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen one in person. Isn’t that sad?

  6. mobius faith says:

    Great moon-shot. I also love the seeds mingling together – more proof that peaceful coexistence is possible.

  7. milkayphoto says:

    Goldfinches LOVE thistle seed so if you want to get them to, ahem, behave for your camera you just might have to trick them. They are very habitual and will flock to a feeder BUT you don’t photo them there. Instead, you watch where they alight before and after feeding and focus your lens there. Works every time. 🙂

    • Robin says:

      lol, Tracy! I suppose it IS possible to get birds to behave for the camera. Thank you so much for the tip. Our feeders happen to be the flowers and seeds in the wildflower meadow and my goal this year was to find a way to photograph them out there. I will be setting up a feeder near the house soon, though, so your advice will certainly come in handy then. Thank you! 🙂

      P.S. Any hummingbird tips? I finally put up a feeder for them yesterday and was astounded to find one show up within an hour of setting it up. Haven’t been able to photograph one yet, though. They are FAST!

      • milkayphoto says:

        Oh, hummingbirds are a tough one! They spook easily and fly oh-so-very fast! The only luck I’ve ever had with them is knowing where they are going to be and setting up a REALLY big lens on a tripod some distance away. They are also creatures of habit and will return to feed the same time every day. Once you observe their patterns, you can then set up and wait. And wait. And wait. You need a very fast shutter speed and an easily movable tripod head (my lens sits on a ball mechanism that allows me to move it very quickly…it really is like being a gunner on a ship). Other than that, you can wait for them to go sit somewhere AFTER they feed if they feed for a long time, usually they will go for some place they feel safe.

  8. I like the little bit of gold showing in the pine tree…a teaser. We feed thistle seed to the goldfinches all winter…they are a delight to watch!…We have 3 feeders directly in front of a window, and there are 7 or 8 on each feeder every day….and I’ve heard them chirping away in the trees this summer…they must have stayed this year. They are fast moving little birds!

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Kathy (PP). 🙂

      The finches are very fast! I’m amazed at how quickly they move. It will be interesting to watch them at the feeders once they’re up.

  9. TBM says:

    Wonderful! I struggle photographing birds as well. But they look adorable. I would love having them along for a walk.

  10. Karma says:

    The spot of gold in the pine is lovely. I only have a few, dull winter shots of goldfinches at feeders. I’d love one of that bright, summer yellow. The shot of the thistle seed is gorgeous. I love the way it jumps out of the picture.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Karma. 🙂

      I first fell in love with the purple of thistle while visiting Scotland, and I was thrilled to see it come up in our wildflower meadow this year. How it got there, I’ll never know, but I’m glad it’s there. The birds and butterflies love it.

  11. aFrankAngle says:

    Biggest cheers to the seed and the leaf. 🙂

  12. Corina says:

    Silly birds, teasing you like that! Your walks are always so inspiring. It makes me want to get up and go find a place to walk. Unfortunately, I’d have to drive to go find a place to walk. Ironic, isn’t it?

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Corina. 🙂

      Ironic, yes. I used to have to drive to find a decent place to walk so I know what you mean. It was always worth it, although I had to push myself to do it (not always easy!).

  13. bearyweather says:

    Love the colors of your goldfinch header. I love watching them, too and they have not cooperated with my picture taking attemps very well, either.
    You probably already know that gold finches are not yellow at all in the winter time. For many years, I thought they flew south for the winter … then someone told me that they are just brown during the winter.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Bearyweather. 🙂

      Ours are an olive color in the winter. The only reason I know this is because they live in the big bush that resides outside of my bedroom window and they are noisy, even in the winter months. They drive the cats crazy, too. (Our cats are indoor cats so looking out the window is Cat TV.)

  14. Dana says:

    That’s neat about the pigments being determined by diet. (Sort of like how our own complexions are dependent on what we eat, too.)

    That last shot of the crescent moon is incredible! I never manage to get shots of the moon where you can actually see the texture… esp. with a point and shoot. Great job, Robin!

  15. Christine Grote says:

    I meant to say that I love the crescent moon shot.

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