loule hills

Olá Senhor Goldfinch

Bom dia Sr Goldfinch

We have a new member of the team, say ‘Olà’ to Mr Socks the goldfinch who landed in our vegetable patch a week ago. We named him Socks as all we could find to make him a temporary home was a small bowl filled with socks. The Portuguese call these wonderful little birds Pintassilgo.

He spends his days sat on my shoulder whilst I work and the evening fluffed up in my hair. We aren’t sure how long he will stay as the window is always open. Many people have suggested we keep him in a cage as goldfinches are great songbirds. I really couldn’t bring myself to lock him in a cage when outside the window is the beautiful countryside of Salir.


Goldfinch overview

A European goldfinch is a small beautiful bird of the finch family, originating from Europe. Goldfinches are characterized with a long, pointed beak for extracting seeds from thistle blossoms and teasels. Male and female goldfinches appear very similar, but on close inspection, males can be distinguished by their larger darker red masks extending behind the eye.

During their breeding season, European goldfinches sport an all-white beak, without the blackish or grayish spot at the tip. Young goldfinches lack the red face which should appear when the bird reaches maturity at around 12 months old.

Where to see Goldfinch

There are many goldfinch in Salir, feasting on the thistles that grow amongst the wheat and barley fields. If you are visiting A Tia Bia for lunch, stop off in the village to check out the lovely views and walks around the village. There are so many birds, wildflowers and stunning views to observe, it totally worth packing your hiking boots in the car when you visit.

Goldfinch food

You can buy Pintassilgo bird food from the seed supply shop in Loulé next to Sapateria Santos, the lady in there is very helpful but you will need to be able to speak a few words of Portugese.

What next for Sr Socks?

I think Socks may stay with us for a few more days until he joins the other goldfinches that chatter outside my office window. I will be sad to see him go, but hope we can enjoy hearing him chatter in the tree tops outside our bedroom window.

Thanks for stopping by!





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