Berrymede School, Acton, London W3.
Goldfinches have become surprisingly common in London, benefitting from seeds put out in garden bird feeders. They have the sweetest tinkling song, likened to the sound of a small brook. In the winter they form flocks of hundreds, often on the edges of estuary salt marsh, where they feed on teasel seeds, a beautiful sight as they flash silver and gold taking flight against stormy skies.
A group of goldfinches is known as a charm, a word once also used to describe a gathering of small children.
Put niger seeds and plant teasel and thistles in your garden if you want to attract a charm of goldfinches.