It’s no secret that eastern goldfinch love thistle. I’ve found that the easiest way to photograph them is simply to find a decent patch of thistle. The birds ignore my car as I drive slowly towards the spot. I try to get the camera ready before I get too close. Then I open the window and photograph the birds from inside the car. Usually I don’t turn the motor off, as sometimes that scares them.
This morning, I found an adult male and what is apparently a sub-adult male at my chosen thistle patch. The younger bird has the bright yellow of the adult but is missing the black cap. Goldfinch tend not to be particularly shy. If you’ve fed them at your household bird feeders, you’ll know that the birds show up and stay until they eat their fill, unlike the bouncier chickadees or titmice who pick up a single seed and flit away, only to return again and again, each time taking a single seed and then going someplace else to eat it.