It is always such a treat to see our smallest native bird in the garden and today the Goldcrest, an insect-eater and therefore a bird which struggles to survive harsh winters, was showing a newer behaviour. It was eating some of the fat left out on bird feeders by us and our neighbours. The more they can eat fat from bird feeders, to supplement scarce insects the more, I imagine, these tiny, fragile birds have a chance of getting through winters- and the more chance we have of really close, clear views rather than the usual snatched views as they flit among branches rapidly gathering their tiny prey. Conditions: Cloudy, with some rain. Temperature: Max 7- Min 4C.
Now most leaves have dropped, and the weather is getting colder, the Goldcrest reappears, or at least gets more visible, in our garden. The UK’s smallest bird, weighing the same as a 20 pence piece, this insect-eater will struggle to find enough food in daylight hours for the next few months, but that means it will sometimes come to a birdtable for fat, or search your plants for tiny insects, so keep your eyes peeled- it is the easiest time to spot them. Conditions: Cloudy with some rain. Temperature: Max 13- Min 11C.
Goldcrest,- weighing the same as a 20 pence piece, the UK’s smallest bird is back in our garden and their call is worth listening out for. Usually eating insects on and around conifers, these stunning, very active, ‘busy’ birds venture into gardens more in cold winters. Their call is so sweet and high-pitched it is beyond some people’s hearing range- described as “Siii Siii” (!), if you can’t hear it, look out for it among conifers any time of year- flitting through vegetation, picking at small insects. Conditions: Still, light cloud. Temperature: Max 9- Min 5C.
Goldcrests- Travelling down south again soon so this may be the last post for a few days. We have been seeing these wonderful, tiny birds a little this winter. Weighing the same as a 20p coin, no-one believed in the past that they were capable of flying here on their own. They were known as Woodcock Pilots, as people thought they hitched a ride on the backs of Woodcock! Not only are they our smallest bird but their song is so high-pitched many people simply can’t hear it. We should be getting many migrant Goldcrests from Scandinavia this time of year but this is proving such a mild winter (worryingly, in some parts of the UK the winter solstice temperatures are predicted to be the same as this June’s summer solstice), with south and westerly winds predominating, that we have less migrants of al sorts so far. Conditions: Wet and gusty and grey. Temperature: Max 13- Min 5c.