As the light was fading the other afternoon I rushed out to photograph the moon and was greeted by a large, fast moving flock of small birds. There were more than twenty of them and they were flying in formation.
I tried to get a photograph but even with the camera set to continuous focus, they were too fast and their flight pattern too unpredictable to get a good shot. Nothing wrong with the camera’s advanced focussing, just me losing track of the birds in the viewfinder. They shwooshed past me once, twice and a third and a fourth time before settling on the tree, under which I was standing, as if they were aware of my desire to photograph them and decided to oblige me. Only then could I identify them as goldfinches.
We have had goldfinches visiting the garden for many years, attracted by the teasels that we planted for them and the nyjer seed feeder, which we installed specifically for their benefit. The large group was surprising because just lately I had noticed a lack of goldfinches at the feeder.
I have seen goldfinches in groups but never as large as this flock and I have never seen them performing formation style acrobatics.
Click on a photograph to see it bigger.
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