Spring is sprung

I can tell that spring is here because my eyes have started itching like crazy. These are the culprits, hazel catkins:

picture from Flickr, © ‘Nunns’

It always seems unfair when my hay-fever gets going and the weather is still cold and miserable. Spring is definitely coming, though. It may still be cold and grey, but there are little bits of green appearing on the trees, the birds are singing, and there’s frogspawn in the pond. Today’s treat was a goldfinch displaying in the garden. This is a goldfinch (if it looks unfamiliar, you may be thinking of the American species):

picture from Flickr, © HOPires

The sexes look the same, but presumably it was a male displaying to a female. He was perched near her on the feeder pole, chirping and doing a little dance. He was standing on one spot and turning his body left and right in little abrupt movements – rather Chubby Checkerish – all the time with his wings slightly spread to show off the wingbars. She seemed more interested in the niger seed, but perhaps she was just playing hard to get. When they flew off, I noticed another goldfinch joined them and also started displaying.

I didn’t know they did that, so I was pleased to see it.

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