What we have instead, to our great pleasure, is a swarm of siskins (carduelis spinus, tarins des aulnes). We first met these gregarious little finches in Cala San Vicente, Majorca, during a memorable holiday when we could only get around on foot or by public transport. Simply staying put forced us to examine the wildlife in our local environment, including the gardens of our villa.
|Mr and Mrs Siskin enjoying a good meal of peanuts|
The siskins have taken to the peanut feeder in particular, displacing the house sparrows and greenfinches and holding their own against the great tits.
If another bird comes too close, both male and female will half-open their wings and spread their tail, flashing their underside in the interloper's face. The female presents her streaked cream fluffed-up body and pale yellow forked tail. The male delivers a flash of vivid yellow tail against an almost black background of primary feathers.
|When will it be my turn?|
Frequently, they tumble into the air and a punch-up ensues.