Excuse the punny title but it introduces this first section of birds and butterflies feeding on the thistle seed heads.
Some individual shots of goldfinches feeding on a patch of thistles at Attenborough. This season’s offspring have yet to develop their red facial mask. Earlier this year we saw goldfinches similarly feeding on dandelion heads in the lawn.
Nearby, also on a thistle head, a peacock butterfly poses with wings outspread.
In general I have had little success in photographing dragonflies on the wing but this common hawker made my task easier by hovering above the water. The background colouration is a reflection of the blue sky.
Back home while working on the above images we had a flying (!) visit from a mixed group of young bluetits and great tits. The yellowish tinge to their plumage will fade as they mature. Now they have discovered our feeding station let’s hope they come again (and again.)
Finally, possibly attracted by the activity around the feeders, a lone starling arrived. I am always amazed to see the intricate colouring of mature starlings, set off in this case by the background foliage of out smoke bush.