Tuesday 7 April 2015

The Hummingcrest

Sorry to bombard, but I had to share this joyous little encounter I had at the front door as twilight approached. I had just been doing some very low grade bicycle maintenance and getting more oil on myself than the chain as usual, when I heard some quiet bird song and looked up into the silver birch tree above.

A little goldcrest probably the weigh of a boiled sweet was making its way among the birch twigs, singing its persistent little trilly "seeeep-seeeeep" song as it did so.

The goldcrest was so small, it could rest on branches thinner than a matchstick as it snacked off tiny insects among the buds. The most notable thing was its flight, it must be the nearest bird we have in the UK to a hummingbird. It was actually seemingly hovering, and flying backwards at times.

Goldcrests are incredibly unafraid. Only the robin of wild birds will allow a human to come closer, and this is how I was able to watch the bird for over twenty minutes as it worked a few feet above my head.

Hence, I was able to grab a few little pictures as it flitted about above me.



  1. I have never heard of this goldcrest before Simon, it sounds a wonderful little bird and I enjoyed your photos. Thanks for your comment on my goose and duck post. I hadn't even thought of hybridization.

    1. Tiny little birds, about 3 and a half inches beak to tail, named for the gold mohican they sport. They are pretty unflappable around people.

  2. Fabulous little bird. The smallest bird in Europe.
    They visit my garden working through the conifers.
    I have never been able to get an image. Unlike your Goldcrest, as soon as I get close they fly............one day :)

    Well done.......

  3. A great sighting - they are lovely little birds and, as you say, can be very confiding. We've had a pair round the garden recently.

  4. I had one visit a couple of weeks ago! They are a joy to watch.

    Chuffed for you Si!

  5. I think if you had a semi decent digital camera with a decent zoom, you could get great little shots of these characterful birds. My mobile isn't up to anything really!

  6. OK, a really good camera with a really really fast shutter speed!