If you come up to Whinlatter you can see the growth of Gale and Oscar live on CCTV. You can also have a cup of fresh coffee homemade cake and locally sourced lunch at Siskins and watch the equally enchanting little woodland birds on the feeders outside.
Of course, Siskins cafe is named after one of the commonest birds in the forest.
In past years they could be seen, tiny yellow-tinted quarrelsome mites, telling the blue-tits off as they both headed for the biggest sunflower seed.
However in the last two years far fewer have been using the feeders, although the woods resound to their ‘chew chew’ contact calls. Why? We think it is to do with the maturity of the conifer trees in the area around the Visitor Centre and weather conditions. Last year there was a BUMPER crop of pine cones, sitka, douglas and larch. The scaly brown pockets of pine seed hang in pendulous swags of bunting along all the top branches. Red squirrels, Crossbills and of course the Siskins are having a feast. Like the discerning Siskins cafe customers, why go to a fast food feeder outlet when there are a million natural ‘ Cumbrian’ organic meals to be had?
Picture Juvenile Siskin at Whinlatter.