Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Greenfinches and the Hardy Geranium

All summer the peanut feeder is in demand, mainly from Great Tits , Blue Tits and Greenfinches who bring the family round and ensure the feeder needs refilling on a weekly basis.

Greenfinches (c.OOS)

It's good to see the Greenfinches are healthy: we haven't had an outbreak of trichomonosis round here: that disease affects the Greenfinches ability to swallow food and they become lethargic and eventually die.  Its reckoned the disease has knocked back the Greenfinch population, indeed the days of hordes of them bossing the bird table area are but a memory for most.

It was great to see a juvenile Greenfinch busy on the mound of Hardy Geranium, Geranium renardii: On a closer look, I saw that it was attracted to the ripe seed capsule on the plant, borne on a longish stalk: hence the common name of Cranesbill for this colourful family of perennials.  

A juvenile Greenfinch tucks into Geranium seeds (c. OOS )
Apart from the little buzz to witness a voracious peanut eater take to the seed of something you planted, I really value plants that have all round appeal:  great foliage,great flowers and wildlife interest too!

Geranium renardii: white flowers with purple veins & lovely foliage (c. OOS)

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