On 16th September I wrote about this garden plant and its benefits for wildlife. As usual I have left the flowering stems in the garden as “architecture” over winter, but until today they have been steadfastly avoided by the birds. Today, however they started to pay attention to the plants and several goldfinch were feeding on them, together with, rather surprisingly, three house sparrows. One was very adept at feeding on the seed-heads, whilst the other two male birds kept falling off.
Although we have a very successful nyger seed feeder in the garden it is much more interesting to see the birds acrobatic tricks on garden plants. Another species that is very good is Cosmos, I don’t particularly like the flowers of this plant and grow it mainly because goldfinch flock to eat the seed.
The other avian interest in the garden this month has been chiffchaff. I do not remember getting them regularly in our garden over winter before, although I have started working from home this year and may have missed them, but there has been one in the garden every day this month until yesterday when we had two. They are most frequently seen hunting around some raspberry canes that stand in the sunniest part of the garden. These are another set of old stems that will stay in situ until the spring.