Thursday, July 30, 2009


Charmless Dutch Bulb-growing Neighbour often berates us for our weeds. But the birds don't.

I haven't seen one of these, a linnet, for several years, they are quite rare these days, red-listed. Then a pair of them appeared on the terrace today; they were quite confiding, and came fairly close to the back door apparently finding insects among the gravel. Listening out, I heard a song similar to a greenfinch, and later on a tremendous racket, which turned out to be the whole family they'd brought along, perhaps half a dozen fluffy brown young ones, demanding food, hence the searching for insects; they are usually seed eaters but turn to insects in summer to feed their young.

The second one in from the right is the female, who doesn't have any red on her, the male seems to be starting to moult, despite still having hungry mouths to feed (either that or he's just an Old Cock Linnet!). In the winter they are just brown, so it's possible they are around in mixed winter flocks but I just don't notice them, since they look much like all the other finches.

Next up, butterflies, or why we brook further complaints from the Bulb Grower and leave some stinging nettles to grow.


Crafty Green Poet said...

linnets are lovely birds, its such a shame they're struggling so these days, these are wonderful photos....

julie said...

They may be few in numbers, but apparently they get around. And it seems they also like fruit. ;)

Zhoen said...

Perky wee thing.

A Write Blog said...

We don't leave weeds but we do go for plants that encourage birds and insects.

We also like the overgrown look which attracts wild life too.

We don't like those manicured sterile gardens.

Sitting out with the bees and butterflies and birdsong is a bonus we should all encourage.

Barrett Bonden said...

I am a quondam twitcher (the preferred word is now "birder", however the t-word carries more freight) but it's an enthusiasm that has more or less ground to a halt over the problem you illuminate: little brown birds. Heard but rarely seen, when seen rarely identified, and never - until this moment - photographed. Congratulations.

herhimnbryn said...

Have never seen a Linnet, but read of them, so thankyou.
As to weeds, your wildlife thanks you.

Rouchswalwe said...

These lively Linnets looking into the lens are weed-worthy indeed! Ban weedwhackers! Drink an ale and watch the critters in the garden!

The Crow said...

Here in Pennsylvania, we call the linnet 'house finch.' Several visit my yard, but I have only one pair that nest here. They and the sparrows argue over the same tree, when there are so many from which to choose.

Pretty little birds, which you've captured nicely in your photos.


Plutarch said...

What ever else the summer brings, the linnets must be at the top of the top list. I have seen one for years and now wonder whether in the brief bird full Susses episode of my childhood I ever did.

apprentice said...

These are lovely, and I just heard the other day how rare they are getting, so I'm glad they've found lots to eat chez vous!

I look forward to the butterflies.
Peacocks are emerging here, to enjoy the first windfall fruit, plums.

Anil P said...

Pretty. I haven't seen them in our neck of the woods.

If not for the shade of red I might've mistaken them for the Pipits.

Rosie said...


Peter said...

You've really had some special visitors this summer! These birds (with which, as with most birds, I'm not familiar) are glorious.

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds on the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.