Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Friday, 1 March 2013


The RSPB website describes the Siskin as: 'a small lively finch, which is smaller than a Greenfinch. The male has a streaky yellow-green body and a black crown and bib.
Mainly a resident breeder, from southern England to northern Scotland; but is most numerous in Scotland and Wales.
Many breeding birds are residents; in winter birds arrive here also from Europe.'

And this year, they certainly have arrived.

The BTO reports that: ' Siskins break 15 year record. This month, (February), has seen the highest reporting rate of Siskins in gardens since 1998.'
The reason is given as; 'Scarce natural seed availability in the countryside appears to be driving the influx.'

Usually, I'm lucky if I see 2 or 3 birds a year in my garden. Such beautiful and vocal little birds, I get excited when I see one visit.

This year, on some days I've had up to 50 birds in my small suburban garden, (probably 50' by 14'), and as many in the trees either side of it. At the moment, as I do this post, I'm watching 34 birds in the garden; on the feeders, and on the ground.

The green trays are under the feeders, to try and catch the fallen seed. Along with Goldfinches, they are messy eaters!

The sight and sound is amazing.

A few days ago, I tried to capture some of the spectacle on video.

Have a great weekend wherever you are, and whatever you are doing.


  1. Crikey! I am extremely jealous of this Keith! I don't think that I have ever seen so many Siskins in one place before. I have had a very brief visit from one bird in my garden and that was a couple of years ago and none since!
    Lovely video and shots!
    Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

  2. Magical....Your Siskins are very well behaved.

  3. Thanks John. I've been very fortunate to have these beauties building up their numbers daily, since the end of January. Amazing to see and hear them.

    Thanks Adrian. Yea, quite friendly, but very vocal.
    Happy Birthday.

  4. Great sights and sounds Keith.

    The Siskins of Milton Keynes are obviously a quite discerning bunch and know where to find the best place to dine. Messy little blighters though!...[;o)

    btw..I never heard that door closing!!

  5. Nice little Siskins, they are precious.

  6. Cheers Trevor. It's been amazing to see so many.
    Expert editing, expletive deleted lol

    Thanks Bob. They are lovely aren't they.

  7. An amazing video and some really brilliant shots as well Keith. Can you send a few Siskins up as I have only seen two this winter.

  8. Wow stunning images Keith, I'm proper jealous they're truly are great little birds and noisy too when in big'ish flocks.
    The other reason so many have been seen is because of the complete failure of ash seeds in Europe, sadly something we'll see soon as Ash disappear from our countryside :(

  9. sure are loud little guys! the colored-out male version looks so much like our american goldfinch, but the 2nd shot looks like the siskins i see here this winter, too.

  10. p.s. just love all your feeders. what a joy to watch...

  11. Good grief!!! I've never seen or heard anything like it Keith, completely amazing, the sound was just incredible. You got some great shots too. They must be a joy to watch every day.

    I too have green trays under my feeders, all the finches are so messy. I have an army of feral pigeons though which are a bit of a nuisance in some ways but they do vacuum the spilt seed up well :-)

  12. Thanks Roy. I don't think I've ever seen so many in one place before.

    Thanks Doug. I just hope there's many more people helping out with food in their gardens. They really do brighten a day.

    Thanks Theresa. A lot of feeders in the garden, but worth every penny. Amazing to see them, and know I'm probably helping them in some way.

    Jan, it's incredible to see and hear so many.
    The pigeons do a good here too, but today I helped by clearing up, and disinfecting everything. A chore, but worth it to see so many happy birds.

  13. Hey, that's clever to catch the falling seed! A lot does get pushed out of my feeders from the woodpeckers looking for special nuts. But then, the squirrels and juncos and cardinals and doves don't seem to mind eating from the ground.

  14. Keith, nice shots! Funny we have had a banner year for Siskins too! Our yard is about the same size as yours and I've seen probably as many here! Ours are identical to yours!

  15. You must hold the record for the amount of feeders Keith,but it paid off having all these Siskins there. I have never seen one, but i have only had my eye on birds and wildlife for about 18 months.....Thanks for showing the video and have a nice weekend.


  16. Wonderful to see Keith... please send some my way.

  17. HI Keith...That last bit of the video looks like a bee swarm : )..there so many of those Siskins
    You sure have been invaded, and it sound wonderful too!! I see you have a lot of feeders out too!!
    What a special treat!!

  18. YOU have a bumper crop!
    The males resemble our Goldfinch, the females look very much like the Pine Siskins we have here. ENJOY them while there, they will eat a ton of seed!!

  19. They're wonderful little sweeties. You did a great job photographing and filming them. I love your feeder collection. Good for you for looking out for our little feathered friends.

  20. Thanks Reena. I get a few pigeons picking up the seed, but at the moment there's just too much with all these messy eaters lol

    Thanks Robin. I think it's been a tough few months for lots of birds searching for their natural food. Gardens are a lifeline for lots of birds.

    Thanks Peter. Before the Siskins arrived, the feeders would be full of Goldfinches. They seem to have taken a back seat at the moment.

    Thanks Andrew. I don't usually get this many; but I'm not complaining.

    Thanks Grace. The feeders each have 6 perches, and most of the time they are all full. 36 birds at a time, plus those on the ground lol

    Sondra, they certainly are getting through the seed. I took delivery of another 20kg sack yesterday. Worth it though to see all these lovely birds.

    Thank you Hilary. I sometimes think these birds are eating better than I am lol

  21. Wow, now that is impressive! The feeders too:) You must, single handed, run your very own nature reserve. Expensive on seed, but more than worth it. Thanks for posting.

  22. Thanks sweffling. I'm always amazed at the number and variety of birds that find their way here. As for the money; well, I can't take it with me lol

  23. Siskins are nice birds, I love the first contrasting photo. :)

    In Czech, there is a song for children, repeating: Little siskin, little siskin, you little bird, tell me little siskin how they sow poppy - how poppy grows - how they break poppy/mill poppy/eat poppy :)


  24. Thanks Petra. A rare bit of sunshine in the first. :-)
    Lovely song about the Siskin.
    Thanks for the video link.

  25. Lovely set of shots Keith. They're as noisy as the House Sparrows here when they congregate in a bush.

  26. Thanks John. These can certainly turn the volume up at times.

  27. Great photos Keith and lovely birds to see in the garden, though not so much when it's as a result of troubles in their natural environment. I've not had any here yet but I have seen large flocks elsewhere around Swansea.

  28. I have not seen any on my feeders this year so I can enjoy these delightful photographs of yours and keep my fingers firmly crossed. I enjoy a large variety of birds so who knows and when?

  29. wow we were delighted to get 3. You're going to have to remortgage to keep them fed x

  30. Late with this, sorry.

    Thanks Adam. It seems a lot of birds are struggling at the moment to get their natural food. I'm glad I can help a bit.

    Cuby, thanks. You may get some turn up soon.

    Thanks Heather. Yea, it can work out expensive lol

  31. Wow stunning post Keith. I've seen some in Iceland as they are rare but <i never got so nice pictures and video. Well done mate!

  32. Thank you Chris.
    I've been amazed at the number that's been here.