Going for Gold

Goldcrest Rebecca Nason

by Rebecca Nason on December 23, 2010 · 4 comments

in Birding Western Palearctic

Goldcrest Christmas

I thought I had managed to get away with going through all of freezing October, November and snow-filled December in the UK without getting some nasty Winter bug. But no, alas I fell at the last hurdle. . . catching this latest miserable bug I imagine whilst out Christmas shopping, bringing home a little more than I bargained for at the end of a marathon shopping spree!
I thought I had dodged passed the coughing, hacking, snivelling sick in Cambridge with success and without looking too much like a OCD sufferer as I tried to breath through my scarf without sucking in wool and moved sharply in the opposite direction of any offending hand-free sneeze of cough sent in my direction by the general public, but clearly this didn’t work and I am now one of them. Christmas is on the doorstep and I am writing surrounded by lemsips and tissues instead of out birding or taking shots!

So this week I give you a little photo gallery of one of my favourite UK birds, the Goldcrest - Regulus regulus (although I do think Firecrest Regulus ignicapillus just beats them in the looks department!). Until this year I did not have many images of Goldcrests but this Autumn saw a huge influx of these birds moving South during my stay on Shetland and I obtained a lot of new images I am now sorting through whilst unwell. I think of the Regulus family in the UK as the closest we get to the stunning American Dendroica family. Generally weighing in at 5-6 grams, these tiny birds and our smallest bird and can really suffer in the harsh Winter conditions we are now experiencing. The bright yellow crown is all yellow on female Goldcrests but is a darker orange under the yellow on the males, often only evident when ringing them in the hand when you can blow on the crown to reveal it’s orange centre. The bird on the rusty tin below is a male, a little hint of orange just visible at the top of the crown.

I WISH YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND A BIRD-FILLED PHOTOTASTIC NEW YEAR!

Rebecca ;-)



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