I have spent ALL DAY outside today, and it’s been wonderful.  Yellow has been a theme running through…

It was bright and only a wee bit cold so I headed out straight after the school run on my new favourite walking route, which goes through fields, past some interesting houses and into the woods, with some cracking views both to the north and south.  The gorse is already showing a generous sprinkling of yellow flowers in places here.


There was a plethora of bird life on offer too – blue tits, great tits, some more flirty chaffinches and a few flocks of geese crossing overhead, presumably ready to leave their winter holidays in the UK behind and head back to their breeding grounds for the spring. However ‘tweet of the day’ was the yellowhammer.  I didn’t actually clap eyes on one, but a number of them made their presence felt as I made my way along a path through Christmas tree fields – they were telling me over and over about a ‘little bit of bread and no cheese’ – their distinctive song which, for me, is the sound of country fields and hedgerows, the bird’s typical habitat.

This was not the first yellow bird I’ve noticed today, as the siskins on my bird feeder caught my eye this morning.  These bold little visitors have been coming to the garden for several weeks now.  The first time I saw one, I thought it was a yellowhammer, but consequently realised it was a smaller, but similar, siskin.  They’re not often seen in gardens, but are driven into them when the weather is wet and the cones which they usually feed from are closed up.

They started off sharing the nyger seed with the goldfinches and now seem to have taken over this particular feeder, with four of them squabbling over the feeder at breakfast time this morning.  They’re not shy either – quite often they stay on the feeder when I approach it, only wheeling off at the last minute when I get a little too close for comfort.  With the cold, wet winter finally losing its grip on us, I wonder how much longer I’ll see these little flashes of yellow sparking in the back corner of the garden.

Siskin and Goldfinch share the nyger seeds



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