Some years ago we once glimpsed a brightly coloured bird with too much yellow to be a Greenfinch. Our guess was that it was a Siskin but we never saw it again for over three years.

Then this rather drab bird popped in for a munch at the feeder. First thoughts were that it was a juvenile Greenfinch but the breast is heavily streaked and it is quite small - significantly smaller than the house sparrow which shooed it off before I could get any more pictures.

After consulting a few other more experienced bird watchers, we established that this was indeed a female Siskin.

At the time I wrote that, maybe after another three years, we will get a picture of the colourful male!

Photographs - May 2006

(both photos will enlarge slightly)

However, three years on and we hadn't seen another Siskin in the garden at all. However, at a local country park, whilst trying to photograph some Redpolls, I found I had got a few presentable Siskin pics too such as the one on the left, taken in March 2009.

Seven more years went by before we had a sufficiently close encounter with a male in full breeding plumage, again at a local reserve. In fact it seemed like every feeder at the reserve was besieged by Siskins. Perhaps I need to change my seed mix!

Photographs below - March 2016

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