Friday, February 6, 2015


Last weekend I had planned to visit Conway RSPB reserve to search for Britain's smallest breeding bird, the Firecrest; this beautiful little bird shares this status with the commoner Goldcrest. There have been up to three Firecrests recorded at Conway this winter, and I managed to photograph one bird during a brief visit last November, and a return visit was very much on my mind.
Unfortunately, near-gale force winds greeted me as I left the house, and the clouds threatened rain and sleet. Probably the worst conditions for viewing such a sprite, nevermind trying to photograph one. So I changed my plans and decided to head for Delamere Forest in Cheshire where I knew I had more than an outside chance of capturing reasonable photos of the birdlife.
I took a bag of sunflower seeds and headed for a car park deep in the forest that is frequented by common woodland birds. I was not disappointed; no sooner had I sprinkled the seed than at least 5 Robins and legions of tits were hopping around my car. And although the light was still poor, I still captured some acceptable images, including a dapper Nuthatch; my first of the year. A female Great Spotted Woodpecker was visible on a distant tree, but never came close enough for a photograph. Likewise a Redpoll put in  a very brief appearance near the car, but was far too quick for my camera.

Our only breeding Accentor, the subtly beautiful Dunnock

Only one Coal Tit was seen.

Firecrest at Conway RSPB, last November.


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