Back home

After a pleasant break in the Auvergne region of France, it was good to get back to the garden. We visited the Puy de Dôme, an extinct volcano towering 1650 metres high and providing an amazing viewpoint of the area. It is possible to access the summit by foot, or a charming train can take you up and down. We asked if it was possible to take the train up and then come down by foot. We were told this was quite possible but it was not mentioned that the “goats’ path” would not lead you back to where we started from but to another carpark at some distance from the main centre where we were parked. Luckily, we enjoy walking but the extra leg was more than we bargained for.

There had been some rain for the garden while we were away and the Cosmos had taken over a corner of the front garden as I had not had the heart to weed out the self-sown plants.

Today some of the flowers are finishing and it has attracted the Godfinches (Carduelis carduelis).

The adults are very brightly coloured with distinctive red heads.

I am not a birder but I think there were quite a few immature birds in the group.

Perhaps someone might know if these are females or young birds.

There was a constant movement of birds in the Cosmos – I can count five birds in the photo above.

We were amused to watch them patiently wait their turn until the sparrows finished splashing around and drinking from the bird bath.

Eventually the sparrows move on.

It makes me wonder if they are the same birds from the little nest that the goldfinches hid amongst the leaves of one of our Hibiscus syriacus at the front of our house in July.

13 thoughts on “Back home

  1. What beautiful photos! The duller coloured birds are youngsters, we have a similar flock feeding on cosmos seed here, they are a delight to watch – could be the third brood of the year. I love the way sparrows always think they have first shout at the bird bath, too. 😊

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  2. I love goldfinches too, I have never seen them attack my Cosmos, though I do deadhead them, Maybe I’ll allow the last flowers to go to seed. I have however seen them on the Verbena bonariensis so I am hoping they will return for that seed again this year.

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  3. Lovely pictures of the goldfinches, such beautiful birds. Our neighbour’s bird feeders are popular with them when niger seed is put out.
    I visited the Auvergne many years ago and my abiding memory is the clinking of the cow bells, and getting caught in a massive thunderstorm.

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  4. Beauty’s, cheerful photos. I love goldfinches- and sparrows. We have some goldfinches here in the hedgerows and they come into the garden to take the ornamental thistle seeds. Sadly, we have no sparrows, not even one. There are hundreds in the village. They used to nest in the roof of the barns, but the farm next door has been converted into very smart houses. You’ve prompted me to put up some sparrow boxes, and hope they will come.thanks for sharing your photos. Karen x

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    1. We love our sparrows and we have some nesting in the roof of the house. I think it is a great idea to put up nest boxes for them. My husband says they behave like naughty schoolboys and they keep us amused watching them. Amelia


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