Alder seeds with goldfinch
Yes, I did post a blip rather like this a few weeks ago, but after a long morning with an early vaccination (shingles, not covid) up at the Badger Farm surgery, plus a long walk back over Whiteshute Ridge, I was feeling a little shredded by the time I got to the reserve.
However, its magic worked. This shot gave me a real lift. I'd already got involved in conversations with two of the local birders - lovely but time-consuming - and seen very little to point the lens at, when this goldfinch took pity and allowed a really up-close shot. Watching it is what got me thinking about alders.
The Woodland Trust says the alder's seeds are eaten by siskin, redpoll and goldfinch, but this year I've seen many more small birds feeding off them - all the tits, for a start. The woody brown seedcases are what's left of the female catkins and you can see here how the goldfinch has shredded the one it's feeding from to get at the seeds. Being wet and marshy in the river valley we have a lot of alders growing round here. Such useful trees for blippers!
I'm happy to say my arm isn't feeling much in the way of a vax reaction, but if I suddenly disappear this evening, you'll know what's happened and I'll finish commenting in the morning. Enjoy your evening, all xx