Never make assumptions……..

The last few days have been foggy, misty or both.  The last really sunny, bright day we experienced here – at the end of last week – was glorious, and on opening the door at the back of my house I heard a massive twittering of finches coming from a nearby field.  I naturally assumed it was a large flock of goldfinches which we do get at this time and didn’t bother to take time out to check them out which was a bit of a mistake.  They were linnets with a sprinkling of yellowhammers!  Still, its nice to know they are around as linnets are one of my favourite birds.  We see them often here in the spring when the dandelion seeds provide them with natural food, but they are reluctant to visit the feeders in winter.

About wildlifegardening

Jenny Steel was a Plant Ecologist at Oxford University before becoming a writer. She has more than 20 years experience of writing about and teaching ecology, natural history and wildlife gardening. She is also a photographer, journalist and former plant nursery owner, and a lecturer and tutor in adult education. She has appeared on a variety of radio and television programmes including Gardener’s World with Alan Titchmarsh, and she presented a series of items on the BBC 2 gardening show, How Does Your Garden Grow. She has worked with and written for a variety of organisations including the Royal Horticultural Society, Natural England, Atropos, Ernest Charles, the Adult Residential Colleges Association (ARCA), Haiths, Usborne Books, Complete Gardens, Oxfordshire County Council, the charity Growing Native and several of the Wildlife Trusts. She is also the Garden Bird Guru for the wild bird food company JustAddBirds of which she was a co-founder. The Emmy Award winning film company Panache Productions are currently making a film about her wildlife garden in South Shropshire. She has written 10 books on wildlife gardening. Her website can be found at and her bird food company at
This entry was posted in British birds, Garden Birds, Garden Wildlife, Gardening, Linnet, Wildlife Gardening and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Never make assumptions……..

  1. Indeed, Linnets are beautiful birds and will sometimes venture into gardens, albeit only rarely. I expect the key here, is being close to the fields on which they feed. The other day I heard a Linnet in full song on the Marlborough downs, which was rather surprising. Immediately, after hearing this extravagant song burst, in flew a flock of no fewer than 79 further individuals, some of which were Yellowhammers and Corn Buntings.

    Kind Regards

    Tony Powell

    • This was a flock of about 300 linnets – quite a good number! We do get small flocks of 10 or 15 in the garden in spring and they have a wonderful song! You can see our complete garden bird list here – 70 species when I get around to adding the woodcock. But a corn bunting – well that would be something!

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