I've seen very few Goldcrests this year, so it was quite exciting to have one flitting through our garden whilst we were having breakfast this morning. There was no way I could have photographed it, however.
Weatherwise, the day started dull and grey, but it was not windy, so I set off for my local patch to try and sort out what might have happened at my Little Owl Site No.02, where there has been an intrusion recently. I'd been there the previous evening and seen an owl when it was almost dark. This didn't behave like the male bird (the one that is most usually out), and it left me curious.
Today, immediately I stopped the car, an owl emerged from inside the barn (it was the female), and promptly flew into the adjacent tree. It then flew off a few minutes later. I got out of my car and had a walk around - and disturbed the male bird from the same tree. I'm not keen on disturbing the birds, but at least I know that they are both still there. I now have to check on the bird that I found on Saturday - if I find it, it'll be my LO Site No.30.
As I got back in my car I heard a sound that I'd not heard for a while - Goldcrest!! There were two of them flitting about along the hedgerow, then up onto the barn roof, then back to the hedgerow. I have very few images of Goldcrest - the last being in March 2009 (when I also managed Firecrest and Black Redstart on the same day!) - so I set off along the hedgerow. It was never going to be a good session, because of the light levels, and it didn't help that I didn't discover until afterwards that I was shooting with 'image stabilisation' switched off. However, I did manage a few images.
|Goldcrest - my local patch|
I had to leave the area earlier than I would have liked as I was on my way to the butcher's, and was due back home before 11:00 as I'd promised to go for a walk with my wife. I was late, so we delayed the walk until after lunch!
My wife and I have recently taken out an annual subscription to Conkers, as we really don't enjoy country walks on paths strewn with dog mess. We have too many irresponsible dog owners in the local area. We spend all our time watching where we are putting our feet, rather than enjoying the views and birds. Conkers has a 'no dogs' policy. We had walk here today, and didn't spot anything very exciting. There was a Yellow-legged gull perched on a man-made perch in the main lake, and I photographed a Little Grebe. The light from the yellow leaves on the trees was reflecting on the water, continuing the 'gold' theme of this post.
|Little Grebe - Conkers|
On the way home, we called into the car park at the site of the old Oakthorpe Colliery. There were plenty of birds around, including a Goldcrest. Four Goldcrests over three different sites in one day is something that I'll probably never match again!