Wednesday, 28 December 2011


The Goldcrest is one of the smallest birds in the UK (the smallest is the Firecrest) and is fairly common in suitable woodland habitats. The male has a black-bordered orange crown with greenish plumage and yellowish buff underparts. These birds are particularly common around the heathland areas but are seldom seen due to their tiny size and their preference to remain in the tops of pine trees which provides plenty of cover. These birds are often seen in the garden at home but always a challenge to photograph. I have found the best time to photograph these birds is when the males are establishing or defending their territory in early spring. They will be prepared to leave the sanctuary of the canopy and can be found lower down. On one such occasion one male was very active in an area where I was hoping to locate Dartford Warblers. I had remained static for some time when the Goldcrest crossed my path, it appeared to be very tolerant and came very close to enable some fairly close shots. I took all the shots with a zoom lens so most were almost full frame. Since this encounter I have seen many Goldcrests but none provided the same photographic opportunity so this somewhat lucky encounter is all the more appreciated.


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