March in flower

It’s spring, so time to give this old blog a clean and bring some colour onto the pages. For March, I’m going to be looking at our wild plants as they gradually blink open. And I couldn’t resist starting with this: cherry blossom giving breakfast to a greenfinch!

Greenfinch in blossom 26 Feb 20

The greenfinch is almost as much of a surprise as the blue sky. These beautiful birds used to be abundant here but trichomonosis – a disease spread by a protozoan – caused their numbers to crash. Good hygiene at bird tables can help prevent its spread.

12 thoughts on “March in flower

  1. What a beauty! We don’t have them here on Vancouver Island (as far as I know). I’ve never seen one. Beautiful bird! I think we are all looking forward to spring after this long winter. Love that photo!
    I didn’t know about the trichomonosis.

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    1. Hi Anneli! Yes, greenfinches are only found in the old world. We used to have eight species of finch in my village but most of them are now extinct here or in trouble, sadly.

      I do seem to vaguely recall seeing something finch-ish when I lived on the Island – house finches I think?

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      1. Yes, you’re right. We have the house finch and a purple finch (which looks just like a house finch except that the red is a deeper real red colour [not purple at all] rather than the orangey-red of the house finch). It really is sad that we are losing so many of our birds. Over the past few years I’ve noticed a sharp decline in the numbers of birds and the range of species that visit our area.

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    1. Hi Eliza, you must be looking forward to the end of winter! It’s been rainy, rainy, rainy here. Serious flooding in western England and a quagmire everywhere else. But the forecast does look a bit better for the new few days so hopefully more flowers will wake up.

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  2. Adele, glad to see your up from your hibernation! Nice to see you! A lovely Green Finch and pretty blossoms! You are ahead of us. Just starting to see the beginning of growth. Some Crocus up and it’s a pleasure to see them. We have had a very wet winter. According to my gauge we’ve had over 500 mm of rain since New Year!

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    1. Hi Robin! I will try to stay out of hibernation this time. Oh wow, that’s a lot of rain even by the Wet Coast’s standards. It has been relentless here too – I’ve never seen such a wet winter. Parts of England had nearly 200% of their usual rainfall for February. But, spring is slowly winning.

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  3. It seems a bit early for cherries to blossom at this time of year? I remember that would happen sometime in April that they would blossom in Serbia…
    Anyway, the change is most welcome and this winter seems to be longer than usual.

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    1. Yes, you’re right, wild cherry does bloom in April. This was in a residential street and although I thought it was a cultivated cherry variety, I’m actually wondering about the ID now. Cultivated plants are not my speciality 😉 but it was a welcome sight, anyhow.

      This has been a long, grey winter in England. I was looking at the stars a couple of days ago and realising how long it is since I’ve been able to see them. I like cold sunny winters but this has been anything but. Roll on spring…

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    1. Hi Lynette, yes, I lived in Nootka Sound for a while. Watching wildlife in the everlasting rain…I’ve travelled widely in Canada but not really to the Okanagan – I did pass through that region a couple of decades back. My parents have a house in a Saskatchewan village so that’s been the focus of my more recent Canadian visits.

      I love the Canadian goldfinches! 🙂 We have a species here called the goldfinch but it is a lot less yellow. Still very pretty, though.

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  4. The hopefulness of spring – and I hope the weather moderates and the rainfall becomes less extreme in the UK,

    Some time back I was trying to find out about the incidence of trichomonosis here in South Africa as I have heard that frequently raptors get infected and die horrible deaths (infected by birds they prey on) but I did not find much information – I think I must try again and make more of an effort. The issue raises serious questions about bird feeders too – it is likely preferable for those with gardens to plant for birds, as plants provide for other needs such as shelter and nesting material as well as providing food And diverse plantings provide for other creatures too!

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