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Goldfinches nesting

 
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merton



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 86
Location: Merton, Oxfordshire

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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 9:00 pm    Post subject: Goldfinches nesting Reply with quote

I'm delighted to report that we have goldfinches nesting for the first time two pairs in fact.

Both have built are in a hedge which we planted in 2003 specifically to provide more nesting sites in the garden. The hedge is mostly hawthorn but also contains some blackthorn, buckthorn, hazel, spindle and field maple all native species. Greenfinches used it for the first time in 2008 and have nested every year since, but unfortunately only one greenfinch brood has fledged successfully due to predation, probably by jackdaws.

So far the goldfinches are doing well. Their nests are tiny cups of moss the lichen and very well hidden in dense foliage near the top of the hedge. Although they are not accessible for inspection, the first clutch appeared to be complete by 18 April as incubation was obviously underway at that point. Now there are chicks. This would appear to be very early for goldfinches. The BTO gives May 26 as the average date for egg-laying to begin.

I have only just discovered the second nest, so I'm not sure what stage this pair has reached. But the nest is being brooded closely which indicates that there are eggs or small chicks.

When we moved into this house in 2002 we did not see a single goldfinch for the first six months. But we began putting out niger seeds and suddenly they appeared. Since then they have been constantly present around the garden, and it is very gratifying to have them nesting here at last.
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roditweet



Joined: 27 Mar 2011
Posts: 189
Location: N.W Highlands of Scotland

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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Goldfinches ... how lovely ..... hope both broods are successful .... good luck Smile
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Enthusiastic amateur bird feeder and watcher... and nature interests .... have nest boxes.... one used for 5 yrs by Starling pair.
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merton



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 86
Location: Merton, Oxfordshire

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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bad news. The first goldfinch nest, which contained chicks, was empty today. Although we are not quite sure when they hatched, it seems unlikely that they were old enough to fledge so they were almost certainly predated.

It's difficult to know exactly what was responsible for this. Almost every nest in this hedge over the last few years has suffered the same fate. We have suspected jackdaws in the past as there are many of these nesting in the village and they are frequent visitors to our garden. However, this particular nest was well-hidden in dense, thorny foliage and did not appear to be accessible to a bird as large as a jackdaw. Perhaps the culprit was a rat they are very good climbers.

So far all seems well at nest number two which is some 40ft from the first nest. Fingers crossed!
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roditweet



Joined: 27 Mar 2011
Posts: 189
Location: N.W Highlands of Scotland

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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The loss of a brood is sad ..... would a stoat or weasel .... be able to work its way into the hedge I wonder ......... fingers crossed for the remaining brood ...... hope all goes well.
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Enthusiastic amateur bird feeder and watcher... and nature interests .... have nest boxes.... one used for 5 yrs by Starling pair.
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merton



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 86
Location: Merton, Oxfordshire

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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our second goldfinch nest has suffered the same fate I'm afraid it's empty and abandoned. I shall have to consider monitoring future nests with an infrared camera. I would very much like to find out what is responsible for these losses and see if there's anything we can do to deter it.
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roditweet



Joined: 27 Mar 2011
Posts: 189
Location: N.W Highlands of Scotland

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PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How sad indeed .... would it be possible to enclose the area they use with chicken wire .....sealing it off from top to bottom somehow. Probably too tricky .... lets hope the parents have survived.
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Enthusiastic amateur bird feeder and watcher... and nature interests .... have nest boxes.... one used for 5 yrs by Starling pair.
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ChrisB



Joined: 18 Apr 2011
Posts: 30
Location: notts

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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I could have goldfinches nesting in my privet hedge as there are a couple constantly flying in and out but I daren't risk taking a closer look in case I disturb them. I presume it is best to stay well away?
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