I missed the goldfinches late summer in the sunflowers and yellow Tithonia. The chickadees were all over them but no goldfinches. No sweet hum of their "per-chic-o-ree" song, a sure sign of summer's waning.
This morning I happened to look out back to the bare stalk remains on the hillside and noticed the stems of a stand of Echinacea 'White Swan' swaying madly back and forth. I thought there was a large animal at the base of the plants but on closer inspection I noticed the seed heads were inundated with a flock of goldfinches. I opened the window to the cold chill of 34 degrees and in came their joyful humming up off the hill and into the house. I looked to the other stands of Echinaceas and found they were full of goldfinches too. It was a rousing morning chorus of goldfinch song.
I watched them cruise around the yard until mid-morning, lighting alongside chickadees on the hanging tray feeder and scratching for seed in the leaves below. Then I lost track of them.
I'll look for them tomorrow and enjoy their feasting on the same flowers I feasted on all summer - a visual feast of pure whites, magenta roses and golden honey yellows.