A little bar of gold

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Goldcrest, King’s Park

What a pleasure it is to go birding and see these superb little birds, which we’ve seen on almost every trip around King’s Park and Retford cemetery.

Its main habitat is spruce woodlands and conifers, which are in abundance in the park and cemetery.

The goldcrest is the smallest bird in the UK.  The broad black banded goldish yellow bar is the most striking feature on the little bird’s head.

We’ve seen many of them darting in and out of the bushes, but the above picture is our favourite, taken in King’s Park, Retford.  The first thing we listen for is the call, which is a very characteristic “sih-sih-sih”, and the song a very high pitched short phrase of notes.

Its nest is made of moss, a very tight little cup normally in the fork of a conifer tree or suspended from a branch.  They lay around 8 to 10 whitish eggs with faded brown speckles.  They feed on tiny insects, and in the winter can often be seen among various tits and treecreepers.

Its less common relative is the firecrest, which has a black and white eye stripe and the head bar is bright orange/red.

The goldcrest can be seen and heard all year round, but often hard to see as it flits around quickly from tree to tree and branch to branch.  We’ve spent many hours trying to get clear pictures.

It is a super little bird and right on our doorsteps in and around Retford.  While trying to capture this little gem we’ve also spotted a family of coal tits, so we now have them on film as well – we’ll share these in future blogs along with a marsh/willow (?) tit.

We really struck gold with this little bird, and you can too – enjoy what’s around us in the local parks and gardens.  We’re on the crest of a wave!

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Goldcrest, King’s Park

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