If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Morning visitors

Some thoughts on the Royle Weeding later, but this morning as I was having breakfast by the window, I saw a family of Goldcrest having theirs on the lawn. We get a lot of starlings and jackdaws here, and the standard-issue thrushes and blackbirds, but these little critters were remarkable for their tininess and the remarkably bold colouring of the head stripes. There were five in all, spread out among the dandelions and daisies. I got some binoculars to make a firm identification, but by the time I had dug the big camera out from the pile of rubbish on the spare bed, they had cleared the lawn of spiders, wiped their beaks and had gone. So you will have to make the best of a library picture.

And I'm going to mow the lawn to leave a clear view and park the Nikon (with 210mm long lens) on standby for tomorrow.


  1. Beautiful birds! Surprising to see them at ground level, though? when we have them in the garden, they only appear on our evergreens and conifers, creeping through the branches in search of small insects.

  2. I was very surprised to see them at ground level too. I don't think I have seen that before. But there were obviously a lot of insects in the grass, as they were there for at least ten minutes - right up to where I found the camera and was ready to take a few shots. I'm going to be ready for them tomorrow - if they decide that the Nowhere Breakfast Bar and Diner is worth a second visit.

  3. No only have we seen one at ground level, it was having a good splash in our garden stream! This runs down the side of the path from a small "header" pond to a larger one, powered by a mains pump.

    It attracts all sorts of visitors apart from the usual suspects. A pair of Blackcaps are resident nearby - the male sings from dawn to dusk, and appears to be trying to outdo one of the Blackbirds...

    Here's a screen shot from some video I took a few weeks back. It's a female Siskin, who at that moment was standing her ground against a Sparrow, which is half as big again.


  4. Glad I'm not the only one to have ground-feeding Goldcrests. I was beginning to wonder if I had misidentified it as a magpie or something.

    Nice shot of the siskin. All those small, green warblery things confuse me, but it's a lovely little thing.


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