Friday 6 October 2017

Spotlight On: Goldcrest

The main attractions of Autumn migration tend to be Geese and Thrushes as thousands make their way in to Britain from the north. There are, however, thousands of other small birds which flock to our shores to spend the winter. Many of these, like Robins, Coal Tits and Goldcrests, are also resident breeding species, so tend to go unnoticed. In fact, it's really thanks to ringing that we now know Goldcrests migrate to the UK from as far away as Russia but more commonly Scandinavia.

October is a great time of year to look and listen out for these diminutive birds, as not only does the population get a boost from European migrants, but also as the temperatures drop and nights grow longer, Goldcrests will need to spend more of their time searching for food. Couple these factors with the falling leaves, it's easier to find Goldcrests now than during the summer months. Photographing them, however, is an entirely different prospect! As Europe's smallest bird (alongside its rarer cousin, the Firecrest), they don't exactly fill the frame unless they're close, and their constant movements in search of food doesn't give you much time to get a photo.

None-the-less - I implore you to get out searching, as simply watching these birds is a real treat. Here at Feathers they can be found on a daily basis, often in one of the trees in the car park. If you're setting out in search of Goldcrests, try your local woodland or country park. Their high pitch call will often alert you to their presence before you see them, so try to learn that first!

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