8th May, 2019
Well, we have had very mixed weather of late but on the odd day when the sun has emerged from its obscuring blanket of grey cloud, the sun has been extremely hot.
In one bright spell, I set to weeding a patch at the end of the garden where I usually grow a few runner-beans and such, and the hot still air was broken only by the gentle clicking of pine cones opening above my head. Then I became aware of a different sound, a very high-pitched 'wheezing'. I searched the Scots pine tree expecting to find a passing flock of long-tailed tits that visit sometimes, always in a hurry and scurry as they dash through the branches on a quick insect search before they pass on by. It took a while to pick out the elusive visitor and I was thrilled to see a tiny Goldcrest. At 9cm long, it and the Firecrest, are Europe's smallest birds.
We had only once before seen one in our garden and we have lived here for twenty-six years, so imagine my utter joy to be standing in the front garden some days later and to have two Goldcrests and a fluttering baby overhead. Smaller and more colourful than wrens, they sport flashy gold streaks on their heads.
The busy parents were quite unconcerned at my presence, preoccupied as they were in searching for grubs and spiders. They called to each other constantly as they worked the branches like tiny mice but their fluting register was so high that Hubby couldn't hear them at all.
We have a number of conifers in the garden which I know they prefer as a food source and place to suspend their nests, so am keeping my fingers crossed that they have chosen to breed here and will stay or return again next year.