Simon Knight, our in-house wildlife photographer has sent a picture of a goldcrest, of which he says:
“As I was walking home, I saw a small brown bird fly away from me into a tree. Having only seen its back, I thought it was a wren. I focused my lens on an area of the tree that it looked like it could be heading to, and sure enough it did. Then much to my surprise as the tiny bird appeared in my viewfinder, I could immediately see that it was a goldcrest! I couldn’t believe my luck! Only a couple of weeks ago I was crouched down looking for signs of water voles below the pond when a goldcrest hopped into a tree only a couple of feet above my head. I didn’t even try to move to photograph it as I was so close I knew I would scare it. It was disappointing not to get a photograph, but it was amazing to have been so close to a goldcrest. So photographing this most recent one was a brilliant way to cap off two brilliant goldcrest sightings.”
Yes lovely little birds! A few days ago I saw a chaffinch in my garden, the first I’ve seen in ages!
I had thought that goldcrests only passed through the park at migration time, on their way to northern breeding grounds, but Simon says he has seen them all year round – so hopefully there will be nests.
And you’re right: where have all the chaffinches gone?