You may have seen in the news recently that goldfinches are one of the few British songbird species whose numbers are on the increase – nearly doubling between 2002 and 2012, according to the British Trust for Ornithology. This finding is borne out by our resident ecologist Dave Dawson’s research: his counts in Wimbledon Park show four times the number of goldfinches nowadays compared with 30 years ago. The wildflower patch by the lower brook may be playing a small part in this – it had a fine showing of creeping 
thistles, which attracted flocks of goldfinches in August. The thistles have now been cleared for the winter. To find out more about goldfinches visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-34703580