Another few hours' ringing in the garden this morning gave me a new ringing tick (bit of tart's tick if I'm honest) in the form of a beautiful male siskin. There have been small numbers around the garden for a couple of weeks now, mixing in with a sizeable flock of goldfinches. I've seen siskins on the peanut feeders and wondered when one would find its way into the net. After a usual mix of blue tits, blackbird and goldfinches I finally got my hands on one of these incredibly attractive little finches.
What struck me immediately was their small size - noticeably a size smaller that a goldfinch - and the brightness of the plumage. This really is a superb looking bird. The tail is very short, giving it a very characteristic jizz.
Sexing was easy - clearly a male due to the blackish cap (fringed grey) and the bright lemon-yellow throughout. Ageing was relatively straightforward too - all greater coverts were of one age and the tail was fresh - all characteristics of an adult bird, not one born in 2012.