Goldcrests always look sad to me – something to do with their big eyes and that dark, downturned line at the side of their beaks, perhaps.
Should they be sad? Being Europe’s littlest birds means life must be quite tough, especially as hundreds of these tiny creatures regularly migrate across the North Sea from Scandinavia to northern and eastern parts of Britain. According to Fauna Britannica, large numbers of Goldcrests used to be trapped in the rigging of North Sea fishing boats, which is why their vernacular names include ‘herring spink’ and ‘tot o’er the seas’.
I was delighted to see a good number of Goldcrests in trees along the south Wales coast this week. Their constant peeping indicated their presence – luckily for me, I can still hear their calls: the high pitch means many birders ‘lose’ the calls of Goldcrests as their hearing deteriorates with age. I certainly hope that doesn’t happen to me.
Goldcrests are not easy to photograph as they’re hyperactive little creatures, constantly flitting from leaf to branch and back again in their search for tasty tiny morsels, so I was pleased to get these few images, even though they’re not the sharpest.