Baby Please Don't Go
I had been at Ridgefield for hours hoping to get some good pictures of the common yellowthroats that were migrating through but hadn't been successful. I was getting ready to leave when this male goldfinch and a female flew into the cattails beside the car.
I only had time for a few quick pictures of the male before a territorial red-winged blackbird flew in to chase off the intruders. Happy to get a look at the golfinches that had returned for the spring, I decided to stick around a while longer and was eventually rewarded with some nice looks at a male yellowthroat as well.
Winter in the Northwest has flashes of orange from year-round residents like robins and towhees and visitors like varied thrushes. Spring brings flashes of yellow from visitors like yellow-headed blackbirds and common yellowthroats, as well as summer residents like the American goldfinch.
We used to get many goldfinches at our feeders when we lived near Salem, but get only the occasional goldfinch in Portland, so it's always a delight to see them wherever I can find them. I came across this male one spring morning in a patch of teasel at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.
Alas, teasel isn't native to the States but was brought over by European settlers. Teasel is a favorite of the European goldfinch, so it's not surprising that it is also a favorite of their American cousins.