Goldfinch or chaffinch nest?

18 April 2014

I was doing things in the greenhouse at the far end of our garden three days ago, when I took down a plant tray that I use to store odd tools and things off the top shelf – you can see it in the photo below: it’s green.

Green seed tray on top shelf in greenhouse, with nest in it

You can see the tray on the top shelf of the shelves

To my amazement, there was a bird’s nest in it. Looking carefully, it seemed to have some small areas of fungal growth in it, so I thought it was abandoned.

Checking the next day, however, to my amazement, there was an egg in it!

Single egg in nest

Single egg in nest

Trawling round the internet, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is either a golfinch nest, or one belonging to a chaffinch, and we see both in the garden regularly. We have never seen a bird fly in or out of the greenhouse, but then it is the other end of the garden, so unless we are working up there, we wouldn’t see it.

Not wanting to disturb the nest again, we checked today with a hand mirror, and there are now three eggs.

Three eggs in the nest, viewed via a hand mirror

Three eggs in the nest

I’m very chuffed it has honoured us with its presence: I just hope it realises how hot it can get in there when the morning sun is on it. I can’t say it’s very convenient for us, as when the female bird starts incubating, she won’t want us going in and out of the greenhouse, which means all my plants need to come out. At a time when I’m overwhelmed with plants coming on for my own garden or for sale, this is quite a problem, which is being temporarily solved by using the vegetable bed where the runner beans are going to go – it won’t be in use until the end of May (the earliest I’ll risk planting out anything frost-tender), so it gives me some time to see how things evolve.

It’s brilliant – like having Springwatch in my own garden. Wonder if I can set up a video link somehow……

I’ll keep you updated as the story progresses.




3 Comments to “Goldfinch or chaffinch nest?”

  1. Wonderful tip on the hand mirror! Would be interested to know what bird it is.

    • Hi Gavin. It’s definitely a goldfinch. You can’t see much of her when she’s in the nest, but I’ll see if I can get some sort of photo of her tomorrow. Lyn

  2. How very exciting! What beautifully marked little eggs. Look forward to hearing further updates on the goldfinches….

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